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Substance Misuse: Children and Young People: Circular 17/02

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Tackling Substance Misuse in Wales published by the National Assembly for Wales in April 2000 sets the agenda for action on substance misuse up to 2008. One of the main aims of this strategy is to help children and young people resist substance misuse. This document provides good practice guidance for organisations in the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors that offer educational opportunities to children and young people.

The key points raised within this document are:

  • The need for effective policy within organisations to address substance misuse issues.
  • Organisations should recognise the need for a co-ordinated approach to substance misuse and designate a member of staff to that role.
  • Incidents involving children and young people and substances require appropriate and consistent responses within the wider educational environment.
  • Continuing education programmes, which emphasise life skill approaches within a whole organisation context, can have an impact on substance misuse.
  • The infrastructure, which supports the implementation of Tackling Substance Misuse in Wales, has a role in supporting organisations that provide educational opportunities for children and young people.
  • The wide range of substances, both legal and illegal that are misused in Wales are included within this guidance e.g. tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription only medicines, over the counter medicines and volatile substances.
  • Misuse of substances is a common feature of the lives of a significant proportion of children and young people.
  • There is an increasing volume of evidence about effective substance misuse prevention which guides best practice.