Fianna Fáil Press Office
Cllr. Catherine Ardagh
Dublin South Central

22 February 2016

Schools can shape dangers of drugs message – Ardagh

Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Dublin South Central Cllr. Catherine Ardagh says more needs to be done to increase awareness of the dangers of drug and alcohol misuse among young people.  The candidate, who is also a solicitor, says the recent tragedy in Cork has shone a spotlight on the issue which is also a major issue in Dublin South Central.

Cllr. Ardagh explained, “Drug and alcohol misuse remains one of the biggest dangers to young people in this country.  The recent death in Cork has highlighted the scourge of drug abuse, particularly in teenagers and students.  This case has reignited the debate about the role of education in preventing drug misuse, and I believe we should be incorporating a drug and alcohol misuse awareness programme in our education system.

“The most effective way of reaching young people is in the school setting.  The CSPE curriculum already touches on these issues, but a more targeted approach needs to be adopted.  We need an effective, fact based programme, which engages with young people rather than lecturing them.

“I want to see this initiative properly explored and I would like to see teachers and students work together to formulate a strategy which will be effective without talking down or patronising teenagers.  If we are to properly tackle the problem of drug and alcohol misuse, we need to engage with young people rather than preaching to them”.