Helping The Next Generation

In our past history thanks to a grant from the Robertson Trust Calton Athletic was able to establish a full time project to make a big impact on drugs prevention work in Scottish Schools. The extent of the drug problem is now widely recognised and there can't be a teacher or parent who is not acutely concerned about how to deal with the problem.

The Drugs Awareness Team was created to meet the urgent need for drugs education and awareness programmes for young people living in a society where under age drinking, solvent abused and illegal drug use is increasing prevalent.

The team is comprised entirely of alcohol and drug free recovering addicts which give them a strong credibility with young people. The team regularly visit schools to speak to pupils about drugs.

There is much debate about drugs education in schools but no one within the field agrees that fear alone is a useful method of educating youngsters about drugs. So Calton's approach with pupils is not to employ shock horror tactics but to tell it like it is and allow pupils to draw their own conclusions.

There is no moralising aspect to the message from an authoritarian figure, only honest experience from a believable source.

Over the 1996/97 school year the Drug awareness Team questioned 10,302 young people from primary and secondary schools throughout Scotland. The findings of these surveys provided statistics that left no doubt of the scale of drug use in schoolchildren but also supported the ethos of the team.

The most revealing of the findings include:

38% said they had used illegal drugs.

35% of those who had tried drugs admitted to using them in School.

26% said that they were 13 when first offered drugs.

93% said they had drunk alcohol.

89% said that their drugs awareness had increased.

88% felt that recovering drug addicts were the best people to educate them on the subject of drugs.

59% said that the team's workshops should start at Primary 6 level.

96% now realise how easy it is to get addicted to drugs.

96% felt that the Drug Awareness Team was very useful and informative.

Those surveyed were made up of: 52% Male 48% Female

Feedback from Schoolchildren, Parents and Teachers....

Glasgow 11 year old: I think taking drugs are the worst thing in the world because you would lose your family

Glasgow 17 year old: I would listen more to ex-addicts because they tell the truth and have been there themselves.

Glasgow trainee teacher: All the talks had a real impact on me and really opened my eyes.

Glasgow parent: All schools should be able to hear these workshops on a regular basis.

Glasgow teacher: Nothing beats real life experience. The speakers were excellent -

keep up the good work!