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Substance Misuse - Key Stage 3&4 

Resources, guidelines and articles


Although this is an American article and source, the information contained is regardless very important for us all to take heed from. The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) has warned against children and teenagers consuming energy drinks saying their ingredients have not been tested on children and "no-one can ensure they are safe". Read more on this article here.


Dangerous Drugs Networks

Have you noticed a change in the families you are working with? Download pdf

  • new people visiting or living in the same premises
  • lots of people coming and going
  • an increase in anti-social behaviour reports from neighbours
  • unexplained injuries
  • withdrawn, jumpy or nervous
  • a lot of cars coming and going from the premises
  • new possessions, normally expensive; trainers, jewellery, mobile phone, designer clothes

Have you noticed a change in your patient? Download pdf

  • unexplained injuries
  • a change in their behaviour or attitude
  • keeping different company- maybe when you visit there are other people in the premises or they are being brought in by someone else. What are these people like?
  • withdrawn, jumpy or nervous
  • new possessions, normally expensive; trainers, jewellery, mobile phone, designer clothes

Have you noticed a change in the young person you are working with? Download pdf

  • new friends that have the potential to be a bad influence
  • behaving differently or out of character
  • developed a new attitude
  • unexplained injuries
  • continually late to school or forgetting to do homework
  • always tired
  • new possessions, normally expensive; trainers, jewellery, mobile phone, designer clothes
  • withdrawn
  • changes at home that might make them more vulnerable


QCDA guidance was published in 2005 by the (then QCA) now the QCDA:

The Home Office, DfES and DoH produced Understanding drugs: drug education pack for schools - KS 3 in 2006. It contains two booklets for teachers, a pupils' booklet and a CD ROM


The Inside Story of How the UK's BIG City Drug Gangs Are Taking Over the Rest of the Country

"They keep it low-key. They get the kids to tell their teachers that their mum and dad are hitting them so they can get put into temporary accommodation, and then it's easier for them to say, 'You can work for us.'"

14/08/15 Country lines, cuckoo-ing and BOGOFs- how urban drug gangs are setting up in Dorset

25/12/14 Drug Dealers 'Cuckooing' Vulnerable People


E-Cigarettes and Nicotine Containing Products (NCPs) - information on e-cigarettes

E-CIG Guidance for SW CIC Nurses

ECig Key Messages for CIC Nurses



Royal Society for Public Health - Taking a New Line on Drugs

Drinkaware for Education -  Resources for Primary and Secondary teaching, when introducing and developing alcohol awareness with pupils.

Alcohol Education Trust logoThe Alcohol Education Trust (AET) is able to offer the following resources free of charge to all UK schools:

  • AET Teacher Workbook - 100 page document including lesson plans, games and quizzes organised by topic and year group - 1 copy

  • 'Alcohol and You' student guide - up to 250 copies (or enough for a year group)

  • 'Talking to Kids about Alcohol' parent guide - up to 250 copies (or enough for a year group)

All resources are:

  • Dfe Approved

  • PSHE Association quality assured

  • Listed as one of The Early Intervention Foundation's Top 50 most effective programmes.

If you haven't received your resources this academic year, please email

Under the Resources sub-menu, you will find all you need to know to teach effectively: Alcohol and its effects,  Alcohol and the law,  Staying safe, Units and guidelines.


Cannabis and psychosis: it's high time for a review - Cannabis is legal in some states in the US, with European countries whispering about loosening the legal straps a little more. Its increased availability is a testament to how strongly people feel about the freedom to use the plant. More recently there have been studies suggesting moderate evidence for its use to treat chronic pain. This blog is a summary of a review asking the question, is cannabis a menace to the development of psychosis or a happen-stance?

Useful Websites

Fixers - Shared stories and advice on alcohol, drugs, crime and other issues

Talk About Alcohol - an educational website full of games, facts and more

Talk to Frank - an informative website about drugs use, effects and treatment

Drinkaware - designed to help inform about the implications of drinking alcohol

Lions Lifeskills - formerly Tacade, this fantastic website overs lots of resources for sex, drugs, alcohol and more, for all key stages


Legal Highs

Legal Highs (Novel Psychoactive Substances)

BBC News - Legal highs: Spice addiction 'made me punch myself' (article from 13th May 2016)

BT News - How will the new legal high legislation work?

Alcohol Education Trust newsletter Autumn 2015

Drug Rehab is an organisation that provides information and answers for people fighting addiction. The information is clear and very accessible making it an interesting resource for those supporting a person with an addiction or simply to help people in general understand more about addiction. PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT A UK SITE.