Young People's Views on Statutory Drug Education in Wales

Stuart Jones, Penny Byrne, Richard Williams, David Adamson, Morton Warner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper explores young people's perceptions of statutory drug education in Wales. The research data presented in this paper are derived from a series of focus groups (n=32) conducted in 2001/2002 and 2005 with young people aged between 11-18 years. It also draws on data produced through semi-structured interviews conducted with substance misuse professionals. Despite some improvement between 2001/2002 and 2005, participants were generally critical of statutory drugs education. They argued that drug education (1) needed greater prioritization, (2) required more innovative, interactive and discursive modes of delivery (3) should be delivered by individuals with direct personal experience of substance misuse issues and (4) information should be balanced, accurate and objective. The research also identified problems in the consistency of provision (although this was a key area of improvement between 2001/2002 and 2005), and recorded areas of fundamental confusion and misunderstanding in the participants' knowledge of different substances. Although its impact and effectiveness remains to be seen, there is, however, evidence of an improving picture in drug education policy which now appears to be developing in ways that would be welcomed by the young people in this study.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)158 - 177
    Number of pages19
    JournalContemporary Wales
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2009


    • drug education
    • young people's perceptions


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