Major new resource manual to educate teens in the Midlands about drug & alcohol related issues

A major new resource manual has been launched which aims to educate teenagers in the Midlands about drug and alcohol related issues.

'It's up to You' has been developed by Ireland's largest youth organisation, Foróige. This innovative new training and resource pack will be delivered in Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath by volunteers who have completed drug awareness training. The aim of the resource is to support volunteers to plan, implement and evaluate an eight week drug and alcohol awareness programme with young people in clubs and projects.

The eight week programme includes a drug and alcohol quiz, attitude exercises, risks and effects of substance abuse, drug dilemmas and scenarios, activities on decision making and influences, identifying risk and safety issues, life-style choices and it also includes programme evaluation tools. 

Foróige Midlands Regional Drug Education Coordinator, Carmel Daly:

"Youth work is a strong preventative factor in delaying young people's experimentation with substances. Previous research has suggested that 'experts' warning young people of the dangers of drug use is something that has proven ineffective in changing behaviour.

"Drug education is about clarifying information, dispelling myths, challenging attitudes and providing factual information relevant to the age, developmental stage, gender and culture of the young people in the group.

"It is about providing young people with a safe environment in which they can discuss their opinions and attitudes. It is made more interesting for young people if an inter-active approach is taken - using small group discussions, role playing and games etc."

Midlands Regional Drugs Task Force Co-ordinator, Antoinette Kinsella:

"The Midland Regional Drugs Task Force welcomes the development of this new Drug and Alcohol training and resource pack.  The overall strategic objective of the Interim National Drugs Strategy 2009-2016 is to continue to tackle the harm caused to individuals and society by the misuse of drugs through a concerted focus on the five pillars of supply reduction, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and research. 

"In relation to the prevention pillar, the development of this training and resource pack will act as a valuable resource to volunteers when delivering drug and alcohol awareness programmes to young people in the midland region."

Funded through the Midlands Regional Drugs Task Force, the manual was compiled by the Foróige Midlands Regional Drug Education Coordinator, Carmel Daly, Foróige's Drug Misuse Prevention Officer, Ger McHugh along with Catherine Byrne and Debbie Garry from the Regional Drug Prevention & Education Initiative.

For further information please contact:

Jerome Hughes, Foróige Media Officer

086 197 4392

Foróige is the leading and largest youth organisation in Ireland. The charity works with almost 57,000 young people and 5,125 adult volunteers annually, through a network of 534 youth clubs, 126 targeted projects and national programmes such as Citizenship, Entrepreneurship and Leadership.


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