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07 Nov 2013
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What is the DrugAware Programme?

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Drug Aware is an aspirational standard for schools and their communities, supporting them to address drug and alcohol issues through early intervention. It leads the way in making a real difference. The standard, set out for schools to build on existing work, helps to develop a more effective, evidence-based approach. With the participation of parents and pupils, DrugAware schools will have better, more robust drug and alcohol education, policy and support for vulnerable young people.

DrugAware is one of a range projects dedicated to improving outcomes for young people in Southend, making a real difference now and for the future.

Being a 'DrugAware School' means you are safer, smarter and better prepared to address drug and alcohol issues if they arise and are working together to tackle the harm that drugs and alcohol can present.

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Young people

  • Know they are part of a prestigious award and quality standard that covers every aspect of substances for every child.
  • Receive effective, ongoing drug and alcohol education throughout their school life and this will be based on their needs and local data.
  • The focus of drug education is on acknowledging their world and real experiences and developing the skills and understanding to keep them safer in situations where they may encounter substances, from medicines, caffeine or household products to illegal drugs. Ensuring they understand the risks and consequences of drug and alcohol misuse and are confident to resist and prevent the harms that drugs and alcohol can cause is the key to effective early intervention.
  • Where young people are affected by their own or another person's substance misuse, they have access to support, advice and early intervention before issues escalate.
  • Young person-led, high-profile campaigns, carrying positive messages about drug-free lives to their school community and beyond.
  • Schools celebrate their achievements in becoming 'DrugAware'


  • Have confident, well trained teachers and support staff who can deliver effective drug education and identify problems.
  • Have in place a well-planned, relevant and modern drug education curriculum to support all young people as they develop and mature, including those who are most at risk.
  • Intervene early before problems escalate - proactively assessing the needs of vulnerable pupils and ensuring they are referred to specialist services and targeted interventions.
  • Can use 'DrugAware' award towards extending their existing Healthy Schools and to enhance their Ofsted evidence.

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Parents and Carers

  • Are offered support and information on drug and alcohol issues, to support and encourage them to talk to their children with more confidence.
  • Participate in the development of the drugs policy so they are involved in, understand and support the early intervention approach.
More on parents and carers

Download the standard (PDF file - right-click 'Save As' to download)

Download: DrugAware Information Sheets (.zip 1.4 MB) - A collection of information sheets to set you on your way. They explain the main resources and tools available to you as a DrugAware school, including the D-Vibe Survey, Ngage Assessment Toolkit and an overview for governors of the DrugAware Award and what it means to your school.