New drugs-awareness programme launched for senior cycle students

The country's first evidence-based programme on drugs and alcohol is being rolled out for senior cycle students nationwide.

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'Know The Score' is a new resource for teachers aimed at highlighting the risks associated with substance use among teenagers.

The departments of Health and Education are launching the new resource, which will focus on the impact on a young person's developing brain, mental health, and what to do if they are worried about addiction.

Health Minister Simon Harris said the move was about addressing a national problem. He said: "If we continue to define people by their addiction rather than accepting it's an illness, we're never going to get on top of this. What we're trying to do is break the cycle; we're trying to protect the next generation."

Cannabis use will have a particular focus as research shows its use is increasing in recent years among young people.

Know The Score is the first evidence-based resource on alcohol and drugs for 15- to 18-year-olds, and has been developed by medical experts, teachers and young people themselves.

The HSE's Know The Score online resource provides access to a teacher's manual, and information on the effects of various drugs.


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