LONDON, 11 OCTOBER 2017 — Today, Mentor and Adfam launch their joint publication ‘Talking with your children about New Psychoactive Substances and Club Drugs – A Handbook for Parents and Carers.’ The revised guide will be available as a free download and includes details on the range of new substances, their effects, risk factors and the law. It also contains helpful advice on how to have effective conversations about drugs in order to keep your child safe from their harms.
Mentor is the UK’s leading charity working to prevent the misuse of alcohol and drugs among children and young people. Mentor recognises parents and carers’ vital influence in keeping children safe from drugs and alcohol: it is not always appreciated how parents’ help shape young peoples’ views on drink and drugs.
Adfam was founded in 1984, and has evolved from a small support group into the national charity working to improve life for families affected by drugs and alcohol.
The Government’s recently published Drug Strategy recognises the important role played by parents in helping young people understand how to avoid the risks from drugs and alcohol. “Parents, families and friends also play an integral role in preventing substance misuse and supporting those with a dependency towards recovery.”
Maryon Stewart, the founder of Angelus, now merged with Mentor, said in the handbook’s introduction, “As parents, all we ever want to do is to keep our children safe from harms. It is true to say these new drugs are less well known than other harms. There is also an additional fear about their effects and the potential risk of addiction. But I feel it is vital that all parents should learn about their harms with the common goal of protecting our children’s welfare. “
Mentor’s CEO, Michael O’Toole, welcomed the handbook: “Parents and carers are very often the first line of defence in preventing harm from drugs including new psychoactives. Their instincts and desire to protect are strong but they are sometimes not confident to intervene, feeling their knowledge is lacking. This handbook builds their knowledge and includes some helpful ways of allowing those difficult conversations to get started. Everyone should agree for the need for parents to talk openly to children about the risks – they need to have accurate information particularly in a rapidly changing environment.”
Vivienne Evans, Adfam’s CEO, said, “In recent years the range and effects of new drugs have changed rapidly so parents can feel it is a bewildering subject. But the principles of protection and safeguarding don’t really change. Parents often don’t realise how influential they can be in shaping their children’s behaviour around risky areas like this. This handbook arms them with the necessary knowledge and approaches to talk to their children about the dangers and how to stay safe.”
Notes for Editors
- Mentor was founded in the UK in 1998 and is part of a group of charities affiliated with the Mentor International Foundation, a partnership that shares knowledge and best practice about prevention across the globe. In October 2016, Mentor merged with the Angelus Foundation, the lead charity raising awareness of the harms of New Psychoactive Substances.
- Adfam was founded in 1984 by the parent of a heroin addict who could not find the support needed. This is the pattern in which many support groups have been founded. Over the past 30 years, and with the help of a generous grant from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation in 2009, Adfam has evolved from a small support group into an established charity with national status and recognition. We are now the national organisation working to improve support for families affected by drug and alcohol use.
- Mentor UK is the UK’s leading charity working to prevent the misuse of alcohol and drugs among children and young people. We run evidence-based programmes in a variety of settings for different groups of young people. Mentor developed ADEPIS, the leading source of alcohol and drug education resources for schools, and now maintains the CAYT repository of impact studies of evidence-based programmes.
- The Government’s new national drugs strategy places prevention as a key pillar in reducing demand for drugs, “we must act the earliest opportunity to prevent people taking drugs in the first place and prevent escalation to more harmful use.”
- If you wish to interview Mentor CEO Michael O’Toole, or for any press enquiries please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07932 639797 or Jeremy Sare email@example.com on 07747 727993. For Adfam contact Vivienne Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07889 281076.