Skip navigation

Substance Misuse - Key Stage 3&4 


Guidance for local areas on planning to deal with potent synthetic opioids

Click here to read guidance that explains how local commissioners and service providers can prepare for and respond to incidents involving potent synthetic opioids like nitazenes or fentanyl.



Alcohol and Drugs during the festival season

Festival season is upon us once more. As well as the music and being with friends, festivals are places where inhibitions and ‘safer’ choices can go out the window.

Click here for 'The Frank Guide to Festivals'

Read the guidance from Festival Safe about alcohol and other drugs at festivals

View the advice from the Alcohol Education Trust


The Alcohol Education Trust 

The AET can provide UK schools (pupils aged 11- 18) the following resources free of charge:

  • AET Teacher Workbook (1 printed copy)

  • 200x 'Talking to Kids about Alcohol' parent guide OR 

  • 250x 'Alcohol and You' student guide OR

  • 110x each guide 

  • Full access to our student online learning zone (

  • Online resources – available to download as pdf versions via (

To order your free resources, contact 


Drinkaware Resources

Drinkaware provide resources for introducing and developing alcohol awareness with pupils in Primary and Secondary education. 

View the Drinkaware for Education resources here  


Drink Spiking

Teenagers and young adults should be aware of the issue of drink spiking. A recent UK survey in Cambridge nightclubs found that a third of students had experienced their drinks being spiked. The majority of reported drink spiking incidents are not linked to any additional crime and are most likely to be the result of a prank, but drink spiking can be linked to sexual assault and robbery. Whatever the intent, drink spiking is illegal and people who spike drinks can be charged, fined or jailed.

Read the full article here 


Drink Spiking - Top Tips to Stay Safe

To spike a drink means to put alcohol or drugs into someone's drink without their knowledge or permission. The aim may be to incapacitate someone enough to rob or sexually assault them, although sometimes it is just intended as a joke – a bad joke as it is very dangerous.

There is also some concern at the possibility that people are being ‘spiked’ by needles/syringes containing drugs. Although this is much less likely than drink spiking, many of the same tips for staying safe can protect you here too. Spiking is a criminal offence and venues should take steps to ensure they are safe places to be, but you still need to protect yourself, particularly if you feel unsafe.

Read more here


Public Health England Resources

Alcohol lesson plan pack

PHE have produced a lesson in to help students explore the reasons why some young people choose to drink alcohol and the impact this can have on them.

Using peer-to-peer discussion, scenarios and videos, students will be encouraged to identify and assess the risks associated with underage or irresponsible drinking, and how to deal with pressure from peers.

The lesson plan includes:

  • Accompanying PowerPoint for use in class

  • Starter activities – carry out a baseline assessment of students' prior knowledge, skills and understanding

  • Core peer-to-peer activities, plenaries and extended learning projects

  • 2 films to support the activities – "Up to you game" and "Advice on pressure and role models"

View and dowload the lesson plan for KS3 and KS4


Talk About Alcohol

Knowing the score on drinking will help you to make your own decision in the future .... Keep it real, and let's Talk about Alcohol.  Read the full article here




Dangerous Drugs Networks

The Dangerous Drugs Networks provide a poster to help professionals identify indicative signs of substance misuse by young people.

Download it here



Legal Highs 

'Legal Highs' Myth buster - PowerPoint Presentation for Secondary Schools - Explore 10 myths about Legal Highs with your teenagers with this excellent presentation.

Download the PowerPoint here


Drug Education Forum 

The Drug Education Forum provide a briefing paper which covers information on different types of legal highs, the safety of their consumption, explores the topic of legal status, and challenges misconceptions. 

Download the 'Legal Highs (Novel Psychoactive Substances)' document here


Further Resources and Guidance 

NICE Guidance - Alcohol interventions

This guideline covers interventions in secondary and further education to prevent and reduce alcohol use among children and young people aged 11 up to and including 18. It also covers people aged 11 to 25 with special educational needs or disabilities in full-time education. It will also be relevant to children in year 6 of primary school.

Visit the NICE website (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)


PSHE Association


QCDA (2005) guidance published by the QCDA (then QCA)


Royal Society for Public Health 


Gloucestershire Youth Support Team

Their dedicated team provides individual support, helping young people to reduce drug or alcohol misuse (tier 3) and the risks associated with it.

To find out more contact their health team on:01452 415707 or

To download their referral form, click here >


Useful Websites

Drinkaware - Designed to help inform about the implications of drinking alcohol.

Drug Rehab - 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.

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

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

Recall Report - Alerting the public to the latest information on dangerous drugs and products.  PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT A UK SITE. 

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

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




10/01/18 The Guardian - One cigarette 'may lead to habit for more than two-thirds of people'. Almost 69% of those who tried smoking went on to smoke daily, analysis of global survey data indicates, highlighting importance of prevention measures. More than two-thirds of people who try just one cigarette may go on to become regular smokers, research suggests. 

16/05/17 BBC News – US teen died after drinking caffeine too quickly, coroner says. A healthy teenager in the US state of South Carolina died from drinking several highly-caffeinated drinks too quickly, a coroner has ruled. Davis Allen Cripe collapsed at a high school in April after drinking a McDonald's latte, a large Mountain Dew soft drink and an energy drink in just under two hours, Gary Watts said. The 16-year-old died from a "caffeine-induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia". He had no pre-existing heart condition.

24/11/16 Vice - The Inside Story of How the UK's BIG City Drug Gangs Are Taking Over the Rest of the Country. More and more, city gangs are sending young runners out into the sticks to sell crack and heroin. We spoke to dealers, sex workers, and police to get a better understanding of how the whole process works. As commuters arrive into Britain's major cities from their homes in the shires, a different kind of commuter is travelling the opposite direction. They're more likely to be young and wearing trainers, tracksuits and puffer jackets. Most of them generate more cash each day than their city-bound counterparts. The tools of their trade are a cheap mobile phone, a bag of class A drugs and a knife.

14/08/15 Bournemouth Echo - Country lines, cuckoo-ing and BOGOFs- how urban drug gangs are setting up in Dorset. 'Keep your eyes open and report your concerns.'That's the plea from police officers working to tackle drugs gangs in Dorset. Officers from the force are calling on members of the public to take on urban drug-dealing gangs, who have been expanding their illegal activity into rural and coastal towns across the country. A report published this week by the National Crime Agency revealed gangs are using a model known as 'country lines'. This refers to the use of a single telephone number for ordering drugs, operated from outside the area, which becomes the group’s brand. Unlike other criminal activities where telephone numbers are changed on a regular basis, these telephone numbers are maintained and protected.

25/12/15 Sky News - Drug Dealers 'Cuckooing' Vulnerable People. Criminals are setting up shop in people's homes after being sent to towns around the country by crime bosses in London. The tactic is known as "cuckooing", after the bird that invades nests, and victims are often left with little choice but to cooperate. For four months, a tenant of landlord Martin Holland was preyed upon in his flat in Ipswich. The man has mental health problems and his vulnerability made him an easy target. "He was having to go back to a flat that was basically full of people dealing drugs," said Mr Holland.

20/03/17 National Elf Service - Cannabis and psychosis: it's high time for a review. It’s hard to tell on the face of it what the knock-on effects of using cannabis are with the wash of media attention, political messages, and people trying to avoid sounding like a massive downer. But when looking at the clinical evidence overall, how can we discern the true state of affairs, and how much is actually known about the psychological harms and benefits of cannabis? Cannabis has recently become legal in states across the US, with European countries whispering about loosening the legal straps a little more.

13/05/16 BBC News - Legal highs: Spice addiction 'made me punch myself'. Legal highs will be banned across the UK later this month, in a move which the government says will protect young people. But for many, their addictive nature has already taken hold. Grace has a friendly, intelligent personality and is a gifted artist. But four years ago she became addicted to Spice, a form of synthetic cannabis, and it took control of her life. The 18-year-old left home after a breakdown in relationships with her family and ended up on the street, living in doorways, squats and tents - wherever she found room.


Tagged under: behaviour, caffeine, personal safety, drugs, alcohol, substances, healthy lifestyles, addiction, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5, dangerous drugs, Recall Report, gangs,

Was the information on this page helpful? Yes No