Alcohol Awareness week 3-7th July 2023
Alcohol awareness is a key issue within the Welsh Police Schools Programme (WPSP). Research shows that the earlier a child starts drinking the higher his or her risk of serious Alcohol related problems later in life.
During adolescence the brain is still growing – there are parts that will not be fully developed until individuals are in their early 20s. The part of the brain that is involved in planning and judgment matures late, as does the part relating to long-term memory and learning.
By drinking, young people could prevent these parts of the brain developing properly. Young people are generally smaller and weigh less than adults, so Alcohol is more concentrated in their bodies and they feel the effects of Alcohol more quickly and for longer. They may also be less able to judge or control the amount they are drinking.
With summer approaching, many young people will be attending festivals and Alcohol will be readily available.
What does the Schools Police Officer tell children and young people about Alcohol?
Our team of dedicated team of Officers educate children and young people from years 2-11 that Alcohol is classed as a drug because it changes the way the mind and body works - it is a poison and a depressant.
Our Officers help pupils to:
· Know the effects and risks of using Alcohol.
· Know the laws around Alcohol.
· Understand its effects on people.
and through our educational inputs around alcohol, they also aim to empower young people to:
· always take responsibility for their actions.
· always know what they are drinking.
· never leave any drinks unattended
· not encourage friends to drink to excess.
We have 4 lessons schools can book to support this week’s national campaign:
1. Sinister Substances (Year 2)
An animated story about ‘Sinister Substances’ helps pupils improve their knowledge of Tobacco, Alcohol, Solvents and Vaping.
2. So! What’s the Problem? (Year 4)
Pupils discover the harmful effects of misusing Alcohol and Solvents. A DVD clip discussion about anti-social behaviour, binge drinking and its effects on the community. Information is given on where to go for help.
3. Thinking about Drinking! (Year 8)
A board game and short film challenge the pupils’ knowledge of Alcohol and the law and the ways in which Alcohol can affect behaviour. Pupils are given positive safety messages and guidance with information about helplines.
4. Double Trouble! (Year 10)
Emotive DVD clips encourage pupils to consider the effects and consequences of Alcohol misuse. Pupils then consider how to reduce the risk to their personal safety and are offered guidance on where to go for help.
We also have a selection of ASSEMBLIES available to book via your SPO:
1. STOP: Start Thinking Of the Problem (Years 5-6)
2. DARK: Drink Abuse: What you Really need to Know (Years 7-9)
3. Night Out: Risky Business (Years 10-11)
We also have a wealth of Teacher resources and information for Parents to support our SPO inputs in schools. Just visit the Teacher section and look for the resources under the lesson headings.
For more information and support regarding The Alcohol Awareness week, please click the following links:
The Alcohol Awareness Week blog | Alcohol Change UK
Agencies and Services that can support:
1. Alcohol Change is the National charity on alcohol misuse, campaigning for effective alcohol policy and improved services for people whose lives are affected by alcohol-related problems. Alcohol Change UK: Alcohol harms. Time for change. | Alcohol Change UK
2. The Wales Drug & Alcohol Helpline, also known as DAN 24/7 is a free and bilingual telephone helpline providing a single point of contact for anyone in Wales wanting further information and / or help relating to drugs and / or alcohol.
The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The helpline will assist individuals, their families, carers, and support workers within the drug and alcohol field to access appropriate local and regional services.
3. NACOA is National Association for Children of Addiction advocates for all children and families adversely impacted by alcohol or drug use in the family.helpline[at]nacoa.org[dot]uk