Students Give a Big Thumbs Up to Hope UK’s Alcohol Awareness Workshops

16-year-old students who took part in an alcohol awareness workshop delivered by Hope UK at their school recently, spoke out about the impact of the session.

I learned a lot about units and I didn’t realise how quickly they add up,” said one. Another student summed up the views of many by saying: “I have found it helpful to know what happens to your body when you drink – and what side effects or symptoms you can expect with specific amounts of unit consumption.

As this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week approaches next month (3-9 July), the importance of effective alcohol education for children and young people cannot be overstated. Teenagers want to be better educated about the health harms and risks to personal safety, so that they can make informed choices about whether and how much alcohol to drink as they approach adulthood.

Recent statistics have shown a stark rise in the number of alcohol-specific deaths in 2022 compared to prepandemic levels in England, with an additional 300 deaths reported, equivalent to a 4% rise on 2021. Deaths reported in 2021 were the highest number of deaths on record.

Whilst we have seen a rising trend in the number of young people aged 16-25 who are choosing an alcoholfree lifestyle in the UK, the easy availability of alcohol together with the social pressure to drink, means that alcohol still remains the most popular drug of choice for under-18s.

Hope UK is responding to an ever-increasing demand for its alcohol awareness workshops from schools, youth groups and other organisations working with children and young people. The national drug education charity works with all ages, but particularly with students in Year 6 – Year 13 (aged 10-18) – delivering age-appropriate sessions through trained voluntary drug educators.

CEO, Sarah Brighton said:

We know from student and teacher feedback that young people are very engaged and enjoy taking part. Our sessions are dynamic and interactive and are aimed at helping to develop life skills as well as presenting students with accurate information about the effects of drinking alcohol.

Online training sessions for parents and professionals, plus lesson plans and resources for teachers, mapped to the national curriculum, are also offered – for more details visit: www.hopeuk.org/resources

Written by: Mary Deller

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