Drugs, alcohol and school – what are the biggest issues facing young people?
Reach chatted to Elly, Izzy, JP and Adam – some of the young people at Fast Forward who work with schools and youth groups. We asked what some of the biggest issues for young people with alcohol and drug use and the kind of extra support they might need at school are.
What are the biggest issues surrounding drug and alcohol use among young people?
- Social work involvement. Especially where it involves the parents [drug and alcohol use].
- Talking about it.
- Peer pressure.
- Sometimes its just curiosity.
- Not having anywhere to go or anything to do with their friends.
It can be more exciting than going to school because school may just not seem that appealing to be honest. And then you end up in a rut – get no qualifications and just end up in that rut of ‘where do I go next?’
What can schools do to provide extra support to help young people who are getting into alcohol and drugs?
- Don’t blame straight away. Instead support pupils, help them sort through why they’re doing this.
- Deal with the root issue.
- Having pick up before school and breakfast clubs can be useful, if they’re family are into drugs and alcohol. Like people coming to take them to school.
- Peer education in schools would really help – because we think young people listen to other young people.
- Talk about harm reduction – how can we reduce the risk of them getting in to drugs? Or how can we reduce the harm if they do take certain drugs – how can we stop them doing things that are even more dangerous.
- To have someone to support you who is suited to you
Unless we have the ability to make more informed choices about where this is going and what direction this is going in, then it can have longer term effects.
Fast Forward enables young people to get the info they need to make wise choices about their health and well-being. Find out more here.