Describes the Northumberland Drug Education Project, a partnership between health and education, which uses local needs assessment and evaluation, and provides training and support for teachers to enhance existing drug education in middle schools. We have found that the children we work with (aged 9‐10) wish to be able to talk to their parents about drugs issues, but are unsure of the reaction they will receive. We have therefore given increasing attention to parents, who we believe are underused in drug education. We assess their needs and concerns, and arrange participative meetings in which we tell them about our active approach to working with their children, based on healthy choices. In addition, we give them information on drug issues and, most importantly, we work with them to consider ways in which parents can make a difference. Our sessions with parents are well liked. They result in parents having improved knowledge and confidence, and intentions to develop more open communication with their children. One of our main aims now is to involve more parents.
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