To nurture the skills of resilience is key to providing young people with the ability to cope with stress, adversity, failure and challenges. Resilience is evident when young people have a greater ability to “bounce back” when faced with difficulties and achieve positive outcomes.

Resilience is required to refuse an opportunity provided in a social group to try or take illicit substances.

Hospital admissions due to substance misuse among 15-24 years has declined across England (87.9) but is still higher than a few years ago. Proportionality fewer young people across Cambridgeshire (75.6) are being admitted compared to the England average but in Peterborough (127.8) the number of admissions is significantly higher.

Cambridgeshire Peterborough East of England England
Hospital admissions due to substance misuse (15-24 years) 2015/16-17/18 75.6 127.8 75.9 87.9
  • Alcohol and drug use by young people raise the risk of poorer immediate and long-term outcomes.
  • One in five (22%) of 15 year olds in England report having been drunk in the last week and two in five (38%) say they have ever taken drugs.
  • Over 10 thousand secondary school pupils were excluded from school for either a fixed term or permanently in 2018-19 for alcohol and drug issues.
  • PHE prevalence estimates suggest is that there are 26 children per 1,000 in England who live with a parent with an opiate or alcohol problem. That translates as 25 pupils in an average secondary school and 7 in an average primary school. That is based on an average secondary school having 965 pupils and an average primary school having 282 pupils.
  • Among 15-year olds in England, 5% regularly smoke cigarettes and 6% do so occasionally.

Effective interventions for schools and communities include those which include parental skills programmes to support parents to be positive role models, and developing personal and social skills among children and young people to develop the ability to refuse an offer or opportunity to try/take illicit substances.

  • Develop a whole school approach to support and provide accurate information on drugs through education and targeted information such as the following:
    • Provide accurate information on drugs and alcohol through education and targeted information, such as via the FRANK service
    • Work with local voluntary organisations, health partners, the police and others to prevent drug or alcohol misuse services including Aspire
  • Develop a drug policy that sets out the schools’ role in relation to all drug matters, is recommended, covering:
    • The content and organisation of drug education.
    • The management of drugs and medicines within school boundaries and on school trips.
    • Have a designated, senior member of staff with responsibility for the drug policy and all drug issues within the school.
    • Develop the policy in consultation with the whole school community including pupils, parents/carers, staff, governors and partner agencies.
    • Ensure that the policy is consistent with their safeguarding policy.
  • Establish and manage relationships with local children and young people’s services, health services and voluntary sector organisations to ensure support is available to children and young people affected by drug misuse (including parental drug problems).

Drug use is a concern in many communities. Risk taking behaviours like taking drugs, drinking alcohol, smoking and truancy tend to ‘cluster’ together, and the reasons for this are complex. Risk factors such as living in poverty, family difficulties and bullying can lead to disengagement from school, which in turn increases the likelihood of disruptive behaviour, drug smoking, drinking and drug use.The school community have a key role is preventing or delaying harmful use of drugs in children, young people.

Summary guidance provides recommendations for targeted interventions to prevent misuse of drugs, including illegal drugs, ‘legal highs’ and prescription-only medicines for schools and school communities.

Schools are discouraged to use approaches that are proven to be least effective, such as scare tactics, ex-users and knowledge-only approaches.


Parents and carers are offered information and advice to enable them to support their children.


Use clear referral pathways, for example into school nursing, school counselling, early help services, voluntary sector services, young people’s drugs and alcohol services or to a youth worker, as needed.


Source: PHE December 2020

  • The facts about legal and illegal harmful substances and associated risks, including smoking, alcohol use, and drug taking.

  • The facts about legal substances and illegal substances, including drug-taking, and the associated risks, including the link to serious mental health conditions.
  • The law relating to the supply and possession of illegal substances.
  • Awareness of the dangers of drugs that are prescribed but still present serious health risks.

Local Support


We’re a young people’s drug and alcohol service. We’re here to listen and support young people who are having trouble with alcohol and drugs. Who We Are We are a free and confidential drug and alcohol service for young people aged between 10 and 18. We won’t judge or tell you what to do, we

Read More About #POW


Cambridgeshire Child and Adolescent Substance Use Service (CASUS)provides information, support and specialist treatment in Cambridgeshire around drug and alcohol use to young people under 18 years of age and their families. CASUS is a NHS team that specialises in working with young people who have developed problematic or harmful use of substances. We see young

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Life Education Cambridgeshire & Peterborough

We teach young people how amazing their bodies are and how the human body can be affected by drugs. Through the ‘life skills’ approach, children are enabled to practise how to make healthy decisions. We also provide young people with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence to enable them to make healthy choices. The programmes build

Read More About Life Education Cambridgeshire & Peterborough



Key Stage 3

Key Stage 4

Teacher Guidance