Often our conversations about Sex & Relationships Education merges with conversations about substances. This has been increasing for the last few years for us. For example, at the parties and events where young people are exploring bodies and intimacy – there are often things like alcohol and drugs available. How do substances impact on consent? What are the laws around alcohol, drugs and consent? Who do I ask for help if it goes wrong? Will someone tell my parents or the police if I ask for help?
As a result of these brilliant questions, we are expanding this area of our work and supporting students, parents and teachers as they navigate these tricky legalities, fears and stigma.
As with comprehensive sex education, we hope to keep young people more safe by helping them be informed. We are offering clear information about their brains, their choices and the impact of substances on mental and physical wellbeing.
We make it very clear to all of our audiences that the safest way to take drugs is not to take them. However, we accept that some people choose to use substances and we therefore signpost them to reliable sources of information about drug harms and specialist support organisations.
We are currently offering these sessions to Year 11 with direct references to UK summer Festivals. And to Year 12/13 with a focus on more challenging festivals and party environments they will inevitably encounter whilst travelling and University.