Aim: To increase young people’s awareness of drug and substance abuse and their ability to make informed decisions.
Introduction: The object of this unit is to increase the young people’s awareness of the effects of drug and substance abuse and the problems that can arise. Whilst it should be remembered that alcohol and tobacco are powerful drugs and although legal are listed in some reports as more harmful than some Class A
drugs, there are separate units in the programme on these. Whether or not these units are to be covered it is also worth considering them as part of this unit.
There is much information and misinformation about drugs and leaders may need to increase their own knowledge before tackling this unit. It is true that many of our young people will come into contact with drugs at an increasingly younger age. It is the intention of this topic to present some information so that they are able to make informed choices.
There are many reputable websites and in the government’s latest initiative “FRANK the truth about drugs” booklets are available for young people. Go to www.talktofrank.com for more information.
Taken from the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Recreation, Health and Lifestyle L2
• flip chart paper/coloured marker pens
• 1 Heard’ template
• Agree/Disagree labels
• Exploring Attitudes’ template
• ‘Reasons, Risks and Choices’ template
• Flip chart pad
Activity 1 - I Heard
Aim: To explore myths and stereotypes based on Information that young people may have already heard about drugs.
• Give each young person a copy of the ‘I Heard’ template. Ask them to complete the sentence in each box. Encourage them to go with their first thoughts.
• Discuss the answers they have given. Do other group members agree?
• Use the information to facilitate a discussion around stereotypes.
• Ask the young people to draw on flip chart paper a drug dealer. They should add associated clothing and may add words or phrases associated.
• What are the dangers with assuming this stereotype of a dealer?
Tips / Advice:
• Be aware of your own views on drug taking, especially legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco.
• Remember not all drugs are bad. If they are legally prescribed by a doctor or qualified professional Then they have obvious benefits.
Activity 2 - Exploring Attitudes
Aim: To explore the young people’s attitudes to drugs.
• Label one end of the room you are using as agree” and the other end as disagree”.
• Explain that you are going to read out a number of statements that describe feelings and views around drug issues (Exploring Attitudes template).
• The young people should show how they feel about the statement by putting themselves in the appropriate area. They can go anywhere in between the two extremes.
• After each movement ask someone why they are standing in a particular position. Draw attention to any obvious disagreements.
• Leaders should be prepared to deal with any specific issues that arise such as matters related to the law.
Activity 3 - Reasons, Risks and Choices
Aim: To consider why people take drugs, the dangers and the alternative action and life-styles.
• The exercises and questions on the ‘Reasons, Risks and Choices’ template provide a basis for discussion:
— What reasons might one be tempted to take drugs’
— What are the dangers and risks involved?
— What alternative actions and lifestyles can be developed?
— How can one resist pressure to take drugs?
• The questionnaires do not provide definitive right and wrong answers, but give a focus for discussion and sharing opinion.
• Remember that in many places, the world of drugs — production and consumption — is closely associated with poverty A solution to basic production will not come about until farmers in poor areas are offered a viable and sustainable alternative.
• What the young people do within ES could be an important factor in combating issues that lead to drug and substance abuse.
Tips / Advice:
Remember you may be able to invite a drug specialist youth worker or police officer to an evening to go into more detailed issues surrounding drugs.
Activity 4 - Drugs in Sport
Aim: To make the young people think about why people might take drugs In sport and the Implications such activities might have.
1. Write on a flip chart the headings below and get the young people to jot down their ideas. (rime: 10 minutes)
Bring everybody back into one group. Discuss the answers that they have reached. Some possible responses have been listed below:
Why do sports people take drugs?
• Athletes, footballers and all kinds of sports people take many different types of drug. They do it to make their performance better
• They hope that the drug will give them an edge over all the other people they are competing against. But it is very risky, as this is cheating and they don’t want to get caught
How do drug cheats get caught?
• At all sporting events and in every league, there is random drug testing This is usually a urine sample, but this does not detect all drugs very effectively, so some people are trying to get blood testing for illegal drugs.
• If a drug is found in someone’s body, it doesn’t mean they will be punished. Some drugs, like Nandrolone, are made naturally in the body, but in very small amounts.
• This makes it very hard to tell if the sportsperson has been cheating. if they have, then they are usually banned.
What are the main sports drugs?
EPO is short for Epoietin Alfa. It is a drug which increases the amount of red blood cells in your body. These carry oxygen round your body. The more oxygen you have in your body, the easier it is to do exercise.
This is a type of steroid. It increases the size of your muscles. It is hard to detect, because it can be made in the body naturally.
THG is short for tetrahydrogestrinone, another type of steroid drug. it improves the body’s ability to compete by reducing tiredness and building muscles.
What are the risks when taking sports-enhancing drugs?
Some of the main issues include:
• Increased blood pressure and body temperature.
• Increased and irregular heartbeat.
• Aggression and anxiety.
• Loss of judgment which can put other, innocent, competitors at risk.
• Loss of appetite.
For full details see the BB Company Section Discoverer Pro Pack, Recreation, Health and Lifestyle L2