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School award aims to prevent substance misuse in Highland

19th November 2018

The Highland Council, and the Highland Alcohol and Drugs Partnership launch their "Substance Aware School Award" this Alcohol Awareness Week 19th - 23rd November 2018. The award aims to recognise and reward consistent, ongoing approaches to prevent substance use among young people across the Highlands.

The Award is open to all primary, secondary and special schools in Highland with applications opening on Monday 3rd December 2018. An online toolkit of information, advice and lesson plans has been created to assist schools, parents and pupils to develop substance awareness activities.

Schools that can demonstrate how they have used these resources will be in with a chance of winning a £1000 top prize.

Councillor Andrew Baxter, Chair of Highland Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee said:

"It is so important that our young people understand the way in which alcohol can affect their health and the wider impacts alcohol consumption has on society. This will help them to make informed decisions and positive life choices in the future."

Funds from the award are to be used to assist in the development of school alcohol and drugs education activities. Rock Challenge, is one such activity that many pupils in Highland take place in each year. It is a diversionary activity that encourages young people to be their best without the use of alcohol, drugs or tobacco. It culminates in four nights of music, costume and dance at Eden Court theatre in April 2019. It is intended to announce the winners of the Substance Aware School Awards at next year's event. The next planning meeting is scheduled to coincide with Alcohol Awareness Week.

Other activities this week include Alcohol Brief Intervention drop-in sessions at Raigmore, for practitioners wishing to refresh their skills. These are short, structured conversations that seek to motivate people to make changes to their drinking.

There will also be a Parent Craft session to talk about alcohol in pregnancy and promote the message that no alcohol in pregnancy is best for mum and baby.

More details on alcohol awareness week and details on how to apply for the Substance Aware School Award can be found on the online Highland Substance Aware Toolkit at: www.h-sat.co.uk

This initiative is a joint partnership between the Highland Alcohol and Drugs Partnership (HADP), The Highland Council, NHS Highland, and Police Scotland

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