Teens want more openness in the home about drugs

Parents and their teenage children want more openness in the home when addressing alcohol and drugs abuse, a study in the Mid-West has found.

Up to 74% of teenagers said they felt more comfortable speaking freely with their parents about the problem when taking part in workshops, which were held as part of the HSE funded study.

The Let’s Learn About Drugs & Alcohol Together study was piloted among second-year students in secondary schools across the mid-west between January and May last.

It was launched by the Minister for Education, Jan O’Sullivan, at Mary Immaculate College of Education in Limerick.

Nearly 75% of the students said they enjoyed the sessions working with their parents and, after completing the programme, felt comfortable to talk to their parents if they had questions about drugs

Over 57% of the teenagers sid they found the workshop relevant to them.

On drug awareness, 66% of the students strongly agreed that the workshops increased their knowledge of cannabis and solvents and 60% strongly agreed that they had learned more about the dangers of alcohol.

Of the parents, 93% said working in the shared workshop environment with their child during the study was successful for them.

The pilot programme was developed by Sancha Power of University of Limerick in consultation with education and health groups.

Dr Power said: “The aim of the programme is to support and build on the work in the classroom, while addressing parent/ pupil needs in drugs education and to create a dialogue on this topic between parents and their children.

“The aim of the programme is to support and build upon the Social, Personal ,and Health Education in the classroom, while addressing parent/pupil needs in drugs education and to create a dialogue on this topic between parents and their children.”

Bernard Gloster, area manager HSE Mid-West, said the workshops allowed parents and their children participate in a shared experience of drugs education.

“The programme was well received and generated much attention,” said Mr Gloster.

Mary Immaculate College of Education Limerick and University of Limerick helped develop the programme.

Findings from the study were sent to secondary schools throughout the Mid-West.


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