Substance Misuse

How can children be kept safe from substance misuse?

Extensive research shows that most young people don’t take drugs. However, substance misuse remains a big concern for any parent or carer. 

Knowing where to get relevant and credible facts that will let not only parents and carers but teachers and youth workers have a meaningful conversation with a young person about the issue is crucial.

I’m worried about how to approach issues around tobacco, alcohol, drug and New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)…

Choices For Life is a diversionary and educational initiative funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by Police Scotland and Young Scot in partnership with Education Scotland. The concept is to raise the awareness of young people aged between 11 and 18 years old about the risks of smoking, alcohol and drug misuse, as well as addressing online safety issues all within the context of dealing with negative peer pressure. 

The programme is underpinned by the Choices For Life website which provides realistic and credible information about a range issues around substance misuse, including controlled drugs and NPS (sometimes misleadingly referred to as ‘legal highs’).

Katy MacLeod and Tommy Crombie interview - advice on NPS

The Choices For Life website is not only aimed at young people but also parents, carers, teachers and youth workers with a variety of teaching support materials, all written by Education Scotland in compliance with the Curriculum for Excellence.

Know The Score is a helpful resource about drugs and providing information about where to get help. Visit their website for more information.

drugs pills

The Angelus Foundation is a charity which educates, encourages and assists individuals to learn more about the risks to their health and wellbeing of using NPS, so they may be more responsible for the choices they make. 

The foundation has produced a parent’s guide to NPS, to provide more information and assist parents to understand and deal with the issue. For more information, visit their website.

The foundation has also produced a webpage where young people can learn the facts about NPS.

What can I do about Volatile Substance Abuse / Glue / Gas sniffing?

Volatile Substance Abuse (VSA) includes inhalation of substances such as glue or gas from items such as aerosol canisters, cigarette lighters, plastic bags or tins. Like other forms of substance misuse, it’s important to have the facts before approaching the issue with a young person.

Find out more from Re-Solv, an organisation dedicated to working towards the prevention of volatile solvent abuse.

Further help

For further information in relation to substance misuse as it affects people of all ages and to find out where to get help from our partners see our advice about Keeping Safe From Substance Misuse.