Drug & PSHE Talks in Schools are not covering enough important topics

From personal experience, talks about legal and illegal drugs within hours have been lacking, and not enough time spent on the important subtopics which inevitably come up.

As I come to the end of secondary education, thinking back over what I’ve been taught I realise how much of what I’ve come to understand and develop opinions on (in regards to recreational and medicinal drugs, sexual health and the suchlike which tend to be banded together in the curriculum) are from my own research; reading articles and reports, finding educational videos and was watching documentaries (I am an inquisitive kind of guy). That is to say, the concepts of abortion and the moral dilemma/should cannabis be legalised/recreational drugs are damaging to ones health have been planted, but the problem is that they are never followed by a basic educational briefing or discussion.

While this may seem like trivial whining, the reason I am so moved to write an article is that subsequently many friends of mine do not see the detrimental effects of the drugs we are all exposed to at some point or other in our lives. Now I’m not just talking about getting drunk occasionally, or maybe smoking some weed (although I wish there’d been more said on the differences between skunk and hash, the THC levels and effects) but taking pills at festivals. If that’s what people want to do I’m totally cool with it - in the fact that they can do what they want so long as they’re not caught. But I honestly doubt they would take them if they had a better understanding of what damage that can be incurred, especially from the crucial development age of 16.

“But you seem to know a bit about this all?” Yes, but limited thanks to the services provided nationally to educate us in said matters. There’s a limit on how much you can say “That’s a bad idea” to your mates before they either say “cool” or “fuck off”. Pity someone with greater authority, experience or education didn’t talk about what effects which chemicals have on our bodies and others’ while suitable educational sessions were allotted a space in the timetable.

Cancer. That was also something which got passed over very quickly. Despite most young people being aware of cancer, a lot of my friends didn’t know men could have breast cancer, until I encountered an educational video which I shared.

Now, a lot if time was spent talking over respectful relationships and rightly so. But I just wish that the guys could have had at least a quarter of the time spent learning about periods to learn about male testicular/breast cancer which can be quite unnerving when first read about and a paranoiac thing to check oneself for.

I think the lessons were invaluable but certainly there could have been more of them, you get to a point when you go “Is that it? Surely we haven’t covered everything…” Because you haven’t. To put that in perspective I learnt more about recreational drugs and their psychoactive influences in a science cover lesson than when the police talked to us on the very topic.

I hope everyone does well in their exams, and please share opinions / experiences below ☺

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