Leaders introduction and tips
Substance abuse is a problem faced by many young people today. All young people are vulnerable. Prevention of drug problems is an important goal in The Irish Girl Guides’ commitment to meet the needs and interests of girls and to guide them towards a future as healthy responsible women.
The option activities focus on Preventative Drug Awareness. They strive to help girls to
1. Say “no” to drugs
2. Gaining information
3. Building Self Confidence and Self Esteem
4. Practising making choices
Tips for Leaders
• As a Leader you can play an important role in helping the girls acquire the knowledge and skills they will need to resist misusing drugs.
• Emphasise that participation in Guiding can provide creative opportunities and activities.
• Give factual information to girls in terms they understand. Programmes have been developed in schools e.g. the WALK TALL programme that is part of the Social, Personal and Health Education Programme. It is our job to reinforce the knowledge already gained by the girls.
• Provide an atmosphere of openness, freedom and trust so that girls will feel comfortable expressing themselves and in seeking your advice.
• Give girls praise, recognition and increased responsibility and let them know you value and care about them. Girls who feel accepted are less likely to turn to drugs.
• Take a preventative approach. If girls are given activities to build self-confidence, they will be better able to resist pressure from others.
• Help girls to become assertive and let them know that it’s okay to say “no” to drugs.
• Encourage girls to set their own achievable realistic goals. Girls need to be motivated to perform at a realistic level, rather than trying to please someone else.
• Help girls to develop healthy ways to manage stress. Girls who are unable to manage stress often turn to drugs.
• Help girls with alcohol and other drug abuse problems by knowing how, when and where to refer them for professional help.