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Teachers and Youth and Community workers attend drug conference on Island 19 June 2006

A drugs conference was held recently at the Department of Education’s Professional Development Centre, in Santon. This was aimed at teachers and Youth and Community workers who are in close contact with young people, in either a youth/community setting or in a classroom.

Allen Johnston delivered the presentatio. Allen is an Operations and Business Development manager for STRADA, which stands for Scottish Training on Drugs and Alcohol. He explained that STRADA provides training on both knowledge and practice base information to staff working in any area of drugs and alcohol. Their training is evidenced based research and since 2001 STRADA has delivered training to 15,000 professionals.Allen Johnston

Margaret O’Reilly who holds the position of Strategy Coordinator for the Drug and Alcohol Strategies stated ‘ I welcome this conference as a very relevant training opportunity, raising awareness and updating knowledge on these three key areas which we have identified in our updated Drug and Alcohol Strategy. Thanks are due to the Department of Education who as the organisers are playing a key role in progressing the action plan of the Island’s Drug and Alcohol Strategy. Today’s conference gives an opportunity for all those working with drug and alcohol issues to meet together, discuss good practice and reflect on work currently being carried out on the Island in our schools and community’.

Orla McGlinchey the Department of Education’s Drug and Alcohol Liaison Officer, organised this conference, stated that the DoE’s Life Education had attended a lecture last year and heard Mr Johnston’s lecture on drugs and were very impressed and recommended that he presents to the relevant staff on the island. We are very lucky to have a presentation on three major drugs. It is hoped that the information that we received to day will equip staff with knowledge and confidence to support/educate our young people.

The Isle of Man Department of Education's policy on Drugs and Substance Use and Misuse provides the basis for a whole island policy on the teaching of this subject in primary and secondary schools, the Isle of Man College and the Youth and Community Service. Copies are availabale from the Drugs & Alcohol Liaison Officer at the Life Education Centre, Santon Old School, Santon. Tel: 693837.

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