Saturday Drugs Awareness session a big success
18 May 2016
Early May saw the delivery of a very successful drugs education workshop by youth workers from the Youth Connexions team in Watford at the Al-Lawh Academy, which provides Islamic Education to young people of Watford and the surrounding areas.
The Al-Lawh Academy is a weekend school for 8-16 year olds which opened in the New Year; their staff approached Youth Connexions to arrange for their older students to have the opportunity to find out more about drugs and their misuse. The session took the form of an interactive workshop on Saturday afternoon – and approximately twenty five young people took part – with the focus on developing the students’ awareness of different types of drugs, the impact of them on their bodies, their relationships and the community at large.
During the session, the young people were asked to consider all the different types of drugs that they recognised and then categorise them into groups (depressants, stimulants and hallucinogens) as well as law classifications (Class A, Class B etc.). The benefits of legal drugs (such as paracetamol and those used in chemotherapy) were discussed as well as the young people’s understanding of illegal drugs. The participants were encouraged to share their own knowledge and to ask questions, and youth workers facilitated their understanding and built their confidence in the subject. Some time was spent considering how drug use could affect personal relationships with family and friends and the young people were also signposted to the information services FRANK (www.talktofrank.com) and A-DASH (the Adolescent Drug & Alcohol Service for Hertfordshire).
The session was thoroughly enjoyed by all those who took part – with the participants coming away with a greatly increased awareness of the subject. The Co-Chairwoman of the Academy, Sajida Afzal, reported that the session had been very well received – and commented that the Academy would look to use the ‘valuable and insightful services’ of Youth Connexions again in the future.
Here’s what some of the students said about the session:
"My sister found the event very useful; before she didn't realise how serious drugs could be."
"I found it useful because I learnt that drugs may be fun in that moment but after it just creates problems and it's the same cycle again and again."
"The drugs awareness workshop was very interesting, informative and interactive. It taught us a lot of new things and made us more aware about who we should hang out with and who we class as our friends. It made me realise how anybody can be a drug addict."
"I enjoyed the activities e.g. the beer goggles and being able to see how people on drugs see! The session being interactive made it easier to understand."