Smoking Drinking and Drug Use 2009

27/07/2010

Reacting to the release of the annual survey of smoking drinking and drug use by young people in England, Stephen Burgess Chairman of the Drug Education Forum said:

While it is good news that drug use and smoking are falling amongst young people, and the numbers who have never drunk is rising, we believe there is still much more that needs to be done to help make sure that children get the best drug education possible.

At the end of the last parliament we were very close to getting compulsory drug education in every school as part of PSHE education. We hope the new government will consider how they can help schools and other educators improve their drug education. We think it is worrying that 40% of the young people in the survey weren’t able to recall any drug education in the last year.

However, schools, colleges and youth clubs are not the only place where drug education goes on, and we know that parents are critical to helping children and young people take some of the most critical health decisions in their lives.

The young people in this survey identified parents and teachers as amongst the most important sources of information about drugs and that parental disapproval of drug taking was a strong protective factor.

The Drug Education Forum will be receiving a presentation on the survey’s findings by the report’s author, Dr Elizabeth Fuller, at a meeting it has organised for next week.

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