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[Consultation draft subject to amendment and correction.] Drug and alcohol education is delivered by many UK schools as part of the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) curriculum. Trial tests whether there is sufficient evidence to recommend supplementing PSHE with screening and brief alcohol interventions in a secondary school setting to address risky drinking?
Trialled in schools in Northern Ireland and Scotland, an alcohol harm reduction curriculum for secondary schools plus a parental component led to fewer pupils drinking heavily at a single sitting, but without significantly reducing harm related to the child’s drinking.
The annual accounting of the treatment caseload in England registers a continuing fall in total numbers and decreasing success with opiate users, while success with drinkers has increased and has for the last few years remained relatively high and stable. An ageing population of opiate users is the proposed explanation for the former trend – but why hasn’t a similarly ageing alcohol caseload also eroded success rates?
The diminishing youth treatment caseload in England is increasingly dominated by under-18s primarily being treated for cannabis use problems as the numbers of primary problem drinkers falls away to just 15% of the caseload.
For the second time the annual accounting of the treatment caseload in England combines records of drug and alcohol use treatment, registering a continuing fall in total numbers and decreasing success with opiate users, while the treatment of drinkers appears to be improving.
Exposure to messages about responsible drinking norms had little effect on drinking perceptions and no positive effect on drinking intentions among students in this UK university, echoing the disappointing findings of other British trials.
HOT TOPIC 2017 HTM file
It’s magic: prevent substance use problems without mentioning drugs
‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Analyses the evidence leading to the realisation that focusing on drugs is not necessarily the best way to prevent problem drug use; youth programmes addressing underlying vulnerabilities and structural influences have growing research support.
For the first time the annual accounting of the treatment caseload in England combines both drug and alcohol use patient records, registering a continuing trend down in total numbers due mainly to falls in users of heroin and other opiate-type drugs.
HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
‘Everyone’s not doing it’ message offers hope for prevention
‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. ‘Normative education’ comparing the recipient’s use levels to population norms retains some of its shine as the great hope for school- and college-based prevention, but accumulating data demands a reappraisal.
HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
Drug education yet to match great (preventive) expectations
‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Once relied on as the best way to prevent substance use and related problems across a population, drug education in schools has failed to deliver on this agenda: wrong agenda, or wrong education?
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