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					Young People
          and

    Drugs:
 a guide for school
 staff to support
 students
Purpose
To assist schools to:
• implement appropriate prevention and
  intervention strategies to support young people
  with drug use problems
• identify when a young person may have a drug
  use problem
• link young people and families to services and
  resources
• access drug and alcohol information services.

                   Young people and drugs           2
What is drug misuse?

  Drug misuse is any use of drugs
  that causes physical,
  psychological, economic, legal or
  social harm to the individual user or
  to others by the drug user’s
  behaviour.


               Young people and drugs     3
Problems associated with
adolescent drug misuse

• Brain development in adolescence may be
  affected.
• Delayed maturation during adolescence
  may impede important developmental
  tasks.
• Drug use disorders are often associated
  with mental health disorders, suicide and a
  history of abuse.
                 Young people and drugs     4
 Prevalence of drug use among
 young people 12 to 17 years
  Table 3: Australian Secondary Students’ Alcohol and Drugs (ASSAD) Survey 2005 Students aged 12–17 years

                                                        Percentage reporting                    Percentage reporting use
Substance                                               ever used                               in the last 12 months

                                                        Males                  Females          Males                      Females

Analgesics/painkillers                                          93.2                 96.4               89.9                         94.1

Alcohol                                                         86.0                 85.0               68.0                         66.0

Tobacco                                                         35.0                 35.0               21.0                         24.0

Cannabis                                                        19.4                 16.1               15.6                         12.9

Inhalants                                                       17.4                 17.0               12.8                         13.1

Tranquillisers (non-medical use)                                14.8                 15.5                   8.6                      9.4

Amphetamines (non-medical use)                                  6.0                  4.7                    4.9                      3.4

Hallucinogens                                                   4.3                  2.1                    3.5                      1.5

Ecstasy                                                         4.4                  3.3                    3.7                      2.6

Opiates                                                         2.7                  2.2                    2.0                      1.4

Cocaine                                                         3.5                  2.3                    2.8                      1.6
Steroids                                                        3.4                  1.8                    2.6                      1.4

                                                      Young people and drugs                                                                5
IMPORTANT NOTE



Most young people who try
alcohol and illicit drugs do not
become problem drug users.


           Young people and drugs   6
Reasons young people use drugs

•   To experiment
•   To have fun
•   To heighten sensations
•   To rebel
•   To relax
•   To relieve boredom
•   To fit in with peers
•   To cope with problems
•   Because they are available
                    Young poeple and drugs   7
Indicators of possible drug use
problems
• Changes in appearance and wellbeing
• Mood swings or significant personality
  change
• Loss of initiative
• Decline in academic performance
• Increased need for money and secrecy
• Intoxication at school
                Young people and drugs     8
Identifying possible drug use problems:
Cautionary notes


• Behavioural change may be due to causes
  other than drug use.
• Drug use is not necessarily drug misuse.
• Drug use may increase as a result of
  getting into trouble for initial drug use and
  being labelled a ‘drug user’.
                  Young people and drugs          9
Confidentiality


Issues of confidentiality can arise
 when teachers discuss possible drug
 use with students.



             Young people and drugs    10
Limits of confidentiality
• Teachers have a duty of care to protect young
  people against risks of harm.
• Teachers should advise the principal of
  concerns about the welfare and safety of young
  people.
• Confidentiality may be limited by the
  requirements to advise the principal of concerns.
• Students should be advised of the limits to
  confidentiality from the outset.
                   Young people and drugs         11
Talking to young people about
possible drug use
• Consider who is the best person to
  approach the student.
• Express concerns that can be supported
  by facts.
• Encourage the student to talk.
• Listen carefully and avoid moralising.
• Don’t use ‘scare tactics’.
• Offer information or help.
                Young people and drugs     12
Strategies to support students

• Offer support and information
• Refer to the school counsellor for assessment
  and support
• Refer to outside agencies
• Provide school-based support as appropriate:
     - Learning support team
     - Support teacher/learning
     - Support teacher/behaviour
     - Home school liaison officer.

                     Young people and drugs       13
Useful contacts for schools

• Drug education consultants
• Student welfare consultants
• Area School-Link coordinators
• NSW area health drug and alcohol
  services
• Telephone help lines
• Websites
• DET resources
               Young people and drugs   14
What is the role of the school in
prevention?


 Providing a safe and supportive school
 environment where a student’s social,
 emotional and learning needs are met is
 most important in preventing drug use
 problems.


               Young people and drugs      15
A framework for prevention of
      drug use problems


                                   Quality
                                 learning and
                                    teaching


                 Preventative
                drug education                  Parent
                 and student                    involvement
                 welfare                        and support
                programs           Effective
                                 support for
                                 students at
                                       risk
      Safe, supportive
      and engaging                                Home, school
                                   Community      and community
      environment                   support       partnerships




                         Young people and drugs                   16
Drug prevention: Safe, supportive
and engaging environment

• Promote a sense of belonging at school
• Provide support at transition points
• Build positive social behaviours and
  problem solving skills
• Promote pastoral care relationships

                 Young people and drugs    17
Drug prevention: Quality
learning and teaching
• Provide a curriculum that engages and meets
  the needs of students

• Ensure drug education is taught within the
  PDHPE curriculum K–10 and Crossroads 11–12

• Teach drug education in a planned, sequential
  and developmentally appropriate manner


                  Young people and drugs          18
Drug prevention: Home, school
and community partnerships

• Consult parents and local community
• Develop positive partnerships with local
  area health, police and other support
  services to:
 - link students and their families to supports
 - ensure continuity of care for young people
 - strengthen response to drug issues.

                   Young people and drugs         19
Referral to the school counsellor

• The student has been suspended

• Drug use is associated with high levels of risk

• The student appears to be drug dependent

• Drug use interferes with life at school and in the
  community

• Drug use is associated with other problems –
  behavioural, family or mental health
                    Young people and drugs             20
The Stages of Change model

                                    CONTEMPLATION
                            “HMMM … MAYBE THIS ISN’T SO GOOD FOR ME”




       PRECONTEMPLATION                                                  DECISION
        “WHAT PROBLEM?”                                       “THAT’S IT … I’M GOING TO QUIT”




          RELAPSE                                                       ACTION
        “OOPS … I USED AGAIN “                           “I’M DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT NOW”




                                     MAINTENANCE
                                 “I’M STILL NOT USING”




                           LONG TERM CHANGE
                       “I HAVEN’T USED FOR AGES”             Source: Mentha, H (2001)



                           Young people and drugs                                               21
Involving parents and caregivers

• Be reassuring and don’t over-dramatise
• Help the parents explore options
• Involve the student in decisions
• Give information and or suggest referral
• Allow the parents to express their
  concerns
                 Young people and drugs      22
Supporting students whose
parents use drugs
• Reframe perceptions of disloyalty
• Encourage discussion
• Advise young people to seek help from a
  trusted relative or family member
• Promote a positive outlook
• Report suspected abuse and neglect
                Young people and drugs      23
Helping students to be non-smokers
• Ensure students are aware of rules and
  consequences
• Do not automatically suspend for possession of
  tobacco
• Include tobacco education in PDHPE
• Provide information about QUIT programs or form a
  QUIT group
• Provide incentives to quit
• Display anti-smoking stickers and posters
• Use Smoke screen: a smoking prevention resource
  (Stages 3 and 4)
• Participate in The Critics' Choice
                   Young people and drugs         24

				
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posted:3/20/2011
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