A targeted anti-drug and alcohol education programme is set to launch in Bournemouth secondary schools by June.
Addaction press officer Elliot Elan said, “The project is all about teaching emotional resilience. We bring in people with real life experiences of alcohol or drug addiction to share with students what they have been through.
“We want to create a safe space for pupils to talk. They might have problems of not fitting in or with their sexuality. There are many reasons why young people could start drinking or taking drugs.”
“We bring in people with real life experiences of alcohol or drug addiction to share with the students what they have been through.” – Elliot Elan
The charity chose Bournemouth as one of their 10 target areas for the programme to build on their local branches’ Young People’s Specialist Substance Misuse service offered since 2011.
While general alcohol and drug consumption statistics of pupils are declining after hitting a peak in 2011, the numbers for the South West are among the highest in the UK.
Elliot said, “Alcohol is still a big problem because it is more affordable than other drugs.” With the viral phenomenon of “NeckNomination”, heavy drinking among youngsters was recently put in the public eye.
Elliot commented, “It is all about peer pressure, which also generally is one of the underlying problems of drinking youths.”
When asked for the 2013 Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) report on youth smoking, drinking and drug use, 61 per cent of pupils age 11 to 15 stated that they deliberately tried to get drunk during the last four weeks when drinking.
The HSCIC report also found that 70 per cent of boys consume beer and ciders when they drink, while girls prefer stronger beverages like spirits (24 per cent), alcopops (19 per cent) and wine (16 per cent).
At the same time, figures published in May 2013 by the Institute of Alcohol Studies found that alcohol related hospital admissions of youngsters aged 15 to 24 have seen a steep increase of over 50 per cent since 2001, even more so among females.