Statement of beliefs


The Forum believes that drugs education should:

Be an entitlement for all children and young people, including those with physical, learning or emotional difficulties;
  1. Include legal, illegal and illicit drugs and substances;
  2. Involve not only schools, youth organisations, children and young people, adults and professionals working in a range of settings but also families and the wider community;
  3. Take account of individual children and young people's culture, beliefs, religious background and their social and family situation;
  4. Be responsive to children and young people's needs, views and opinions;
  5. Identify children and young people's knowledge and experience and use this as a starting point for further learning;
  6. Use appropriate methods that are subject to evaluation;
  7. Be a continuous part of the learning process from childhood through to adulthood;
  8. Be an integral part of a planned programme which includes personal, social and health education within schools, the youth service and other services to children and young people as appropriate;
  9. Provide information, develop knowledge and understanding, and encourage the exploration of attitudes, values and issues;
  10. In common with other health themes, develop communication, decision-making and other life skills, promote self-esteem and self-confidence and explore alternatives to drug use;
  11. Be provided by people who have had appropriate training and who are adequately supported; and take place in a supportive atmosphere;        
The Forum believes it is important that there should be adequate and appropriate resources to support the welfare of those children and young people who are misusing drugs.

The Drug Education Forum aims:

To bring together a broad range of organisations to develop a shared understanding of the nature and scope of drug education for children and young people and their families.
  1. To establish more effective practice, improve coordination of activities and bring more resources into drug education.
  2. To provide an authoritative voice to influence policy makers at local, national and international levels, in order to promote the provision of relevant and appropriate drug education for all children and young people and their families.
  3. To promote and facilitate effective and meaningful involvement of young people in the development of drug education policy and practice, and the delivery of drug education at national and local levels.
  4.  To ensure that drug education provision is a high priority for all government departments and promote a joined-up approach locally, regionally and nationally.
  5. To encourage appropriate initial and in-service training for teachers, youth workers and other professionals involved in providing drug education.