Foróige is committed to the development, health and well-being of all of its members. All staff and volunteers in Foróige are encouraged to attend drug awareness training. Youth work itself is a strong preventative factor in delaying young people’s experimentation with substances and also helps develop their skills to reduce harms associated with substance misuse. Staff and volunteers build positive relationships with individuals and groups and provide them with a safe environment in which to socialise and develop skills to make healthy life choices. This in itself is drug prevention.
Drug education is about clarifying information, dispelling myths, challenging attitudes and providing factual information about tobacco, alcohol and drugs, relevant to the age, developmental stage, gender and culture of the young people in the group. It should take account of the group’s knowledge, attitudes, experiences and their social environment. Drug Education provides young people with a safe environment in which they can discuss their opinions and attitudes about drugs, develop and enhance their life skills to deal with situations in the future and make decisions which will improve their overall health and well-being. Using interactive approaches like small group discussions, role play, quizzes, goal setting and case studies makes it more interesting for young people to participate in drug education programmes. It is very important to monitor and evaluate the programme so that you can identify areas that worked well and things that could be improved.
Foróige provides training in the use of 3 drug education resources.
1. It’s Up To YOU (Youth, Ownership and Understanding) is a drug and alcohol resource for volunteers which was developed by Foróige Drug Prevention and Education Officers in 2011. Volunteers attend a one day interactive training were they experience some of the activities from the programme. It’s up to YOU is an eight week, primary drug education programme that can be facilitated in clubs, cafés and projects to young people in order to delay the onset of experimentation of substances.
2. Putting the Pieces Together is another primary prevention drug education resource which was developed by the West Regional Drugs and Alcohol Task Force. Volunteers and staff attend a two-day interactive training were they experience and facilitate some of the programme content. This training also includes best practice in relation to drug education and prevention and risk and protective factors for young people. Following the training, staff and volunteers will be able to design a drug education programme using the manual for young people and parents. Putting the Pieces Together can be facilitated in clubs, projects and cafés.
3. Foróige’s Brief Intervention Programme is a secondary prevention drug education programme which is based on the German programme FReD Goes Net. It is an evidence-based, eight week programme for young people aged 14-21 years. It is not for young people who have developed a dependency for drugs. Currently, Foróige only provide training in the use of this programme to Foróige staff.