Alcohol and drug awareness strategy launched locally

The Aberdeenshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership (ADP) launched its Healthier, Happier, Safer Strategy this week at Portlethen Academy.

They teamed together with the Aberdeenshire Life Education Centres (ALEC) bus which operates three mobile classrooms with full-time educators across Aberdeenshire.

The main idea of the mobile classroom bus is to encourage children and young adults to develop healthy attitudes towards the effects of substances with particular emphasis on medicine, tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs.

The hands on approach aims to discourage children away from alcohol and drug abuse, smoking and unhealthy eating and looks at the positive side of avoiding the substances that are becoming normal for teenagers in society.

The ALEC bus travels round schools and educates pupils from as young as nursery through to S2 about different aspects of health.

The bus has interactive activities on-board which highlight the areas of the body that alcohol and smoking can cause damage to.

Dougie Trueman, ALEC Educator said: “We emphasis positive behaviour and health choices and emphasise that most people choose the health alternative to look after themselves.

“We want them to understand that our body gets the energy from what we put into it and the effect it can have on the way our body and our brain works.”

Funding from the Alcohol and Drug Partnership has allowed ALEC to expand its service by funding its secondary programmes on tobacco and alcohol for all S1 and S2 pupils.

Launching the strategy within a school is a purposeful step says Wayne Gault, Team Lead for Aberdeenshire Alcohol & Drug Partnership: “A key element of the ADP strategy is that we need to change our relationship with alcohol.

“Who better to represent this commitment than the young people in our communities?

“Young people are picking up their first drink later and drinking less.

“This is an example to all our Aberdeenshire communities that cultural norms can and do change.”