Welcome to this issue of the FRANK Action Update. The Update is a regular publication, bringing you ideas, activities and inspiration to support local awareness in tandem with FRANK.
Each Update focuses on a specific theme, providing background briefing, ideas and resources for local media and awareness work,

as well as photocopiable sheets for group and one-to-one activities and awareness-raising. The range of professionals in the FRANK network is very broad and diverse – so you may find that some issues of the Update are more relevant to your work and your client group than others. But we hope that each issue brings you useful information – and inspiration – as you get on with the vital job of raising awareness about drugs, and where people can go for information and help.

Families are the heart of society; the place most people go for comfort, help and guidance. When it comes to the big issues in life, parents, partners and siblings play a pivotal role. This Update brings you information, ideas and activities on how to help families deal with drugs – and how to inform them about the support that you – and FRANK – can offer them.

FRANK IN ACTION VITAL STATISTICS MOVERS AND SHAKERS IDEAS FOR ACTION USEFUL RESOURCES Feedback from the public and local networks about the FRANK campaign Trends, insights and facts on this issue’s theme Snapshots of positive practice from the field on this issue’s theme Ideas and inspiration for media work and local awareness, including sample press releases Useful contacts, publications, resources and websites 2 3 7 9 14

FRANK BRIEFING FRANK ADVICE Background information and briefing DRUGS: A PARENTS’ GUIDE Practical advice sheets on dealing with drugs issues DRUGS: BE FRANK WITH YOUR KIDS DRUGS: BE FRANK WITH YOUR MATES WHEN YOUR PARENTS HAVE A DRUG PROBLEM DRUGS IN YOUR FAMILY Activities and ideas for work in one-to-one, groupwork settings, and for media work FLASH CARDS FOR PARENTS PROBLEM PAGE DRUGS QUIZ FOR PARENTS (2 sheets) DRUGS CROSSWORD FOR PARENTS (2 sheets) Order your FRANK resources



The core audiences for the FRANK Activities and FRANK Advice in this issue are parents, and young people aged 11-17.

FRANK is the no-nonsense, non-judgemental source of information and advice on drugs and their effects. TV, radio and press advertising and posters in pubs, bars and on the streets, has raised FRANK’s profile with specific audiences – especially young people. Meanwhile strong support from local organisations, who are using FRANK as part of their own campaigning, is helping to get the message out at a local level.

Families come in all shapes and sizes - large, small, nuclear, foster, gay, straight, lone-parent or extended. Whatever form they take, families can be vital sources of information and support on issues like drugs, and are the places most people go when they find themselves in trouble. On the other side of the coin, where parents themselves have problems with alcohol or drugs, young people can find themselves in the role of carer, offering practical and emotional support.

The partners of people with drug and alcohol problems are also vital sources of help and support. Research shows that partners take less time to get over the initial shock of discovering their loved ones are using drugs, and adopt a much faster practical mindset than other family members. But substance misuse can hit relationships hard, affecting sex lives and causing money problems, sometimes resulting in physical violence and separation.4

“I am a mum of teens, and work in a college. I have passed on your web address to several students. It’s a great site, honest and truthful. It gives facts so that people can make choices, it doesn’t preach. Again – well done.”
Email about the FRANK website from a parent

“On behalf of our kids and carers, and our organisation may I say ‘It’s been a long time coming’. We would like to assist in any way we can and would like to join the campaign.”
Email about the FRANK campaign from Love 2 Care group, Bolton

“I would like to say as an ex-drug user and now a mother I have looked around your site. I think you have done well, and to let people get advice through the net without others being informed is great. I never had anything like this when I was using (and boy was I using). My saviour was my son. I found out I was pregnant and could never dream of hurting my baby just for a high. After a year of not using I never felt the need again. But it’s not that easy for everyone I know. Your site being there for others should help.”
Email about the FRANK website from a parent

“The information shown on the FRANK website for services in Luton is incorrect. Please can you update as per the attached spreadsheet. Thank you.”
Email from Luton Drug & Alcohol Partnership about incorrect details on the FRANK website

Parents and carers have been identified as having a crucial role to play in preventing problematic drug use amongst young people.1 Cohesion, care and communication within a family have been shown to impact significantly on drug experimentation and use, and can reduce the likelihood of young people developing longer-term problems.2 As experts have long agreed: “a family centred intervention is particularly important in steering a young person away from their potential drug using career.” 3

Friends too can provide invaluable support and information if someone has a problem with drugs. Mates trust and listen to one another, and are often there for each other when things get tough. A recent survey found that 54% of young people aged 11-18 would rather go to their friends for information on important issues than to teachers, magazines or the Internet.5 In general, young people trust what their peers tell them about drugs more than they trust people in authority.6

FRANK says: The FRANK campaign team is aware that there were some problems with the service listings on talktofrank.com. Thank you for letting us have details of various inaccuracies - the only way we can provide accurate information is if you let us know of problems. Email FRANK@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk. We are constantly working to find ways of making the service listings smarter and easier to use.

For news on how FRANK is progressing, and details of future plans, make sure you register at www.drugs.gov.uk/campaign

FRANK wants to thank The Collet School in Hemel Hempstead for promoting FRANK to parents. The headteacher of the school registered for the campaign and received her pack just as it was needed. One of the pupils had inhaled a solvent while at home and needed hospital treatment. The school spent a week working with pupils (who have learning difficulties) on drugs issues, using FRANK activities to generate engagement and awareness, and distributing FRANK leaflets and information to parents. Headteacher Elaine Gardner said: “We received our FRANK pack at a very timely moment. Luckily our pupil is fine now, but we wanted to work with our young people and parents and let them know that help and advice is available.” FRANK wants to thank Croydon DAT for developing a comprehensive leaflet for parents of year 6 and year 9 students, in association with FRANK. Working together with the local police and the LEA, A Croydon Parents’ Guide was produced to help parents identify the most commonly used drugs and has been designed to give accurate and objective information to help them to talk to their children about drugs in an informed way. The leaflet also details the law relating to drugs and signposts local and national services. Copies of the leaflet are sent to all headteachers in the area (for distribution to parents), school governors and other agencies that are in contact with parents. The finished leaflet was approved by the Young People’s Focus Group.

• In England and Wales in 2001, of all households with dependent children, 59% were married coupled households, 11% were cohabiting couples and 22% lone-parent families 7 • 65% of dependent children still live with both natural parents 7 • Two in five marriages end in divorce 8 • Almost one in four children in England and Wales lives in a one-parent family 7 • More than 10% of children are in step-families, and at least 45,000 youngsters live in communal establishments 7 • In 2003 over 60,000 children were looked after in residential care 9 • On average, parents spend about an hour and a half a day with their children 10 • Around 1 in 3 families have a home computer 11


Tell us what you’re doing – and what people are saying locally about FRANK by emailing the campaign team at frank@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

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“Most parents… were concerned about drugs, knew very little about them, and did not feel confident in talking about drugs to their children.” 12 Drugs project worker

In general, most young people – especially under -16’s – do trust their parents: • More than 70% of under-16’s say they trust their parents 16 • 57% of young people aged 11-18 would turn to their families for information and support on issues which worry them • 82% of young people would be most likely to trust their parents out of a range of adult authority figures including teachers and policemen5 Young people are usually prepared to listen to what their parents have to say, and would often prefer to get information and advice from parents than from external sources. A Drug Education Forum Consultation run by the National Children’s Bureau in 2000 found that “Secondary school pupils… want their parents to know what help is available for children and young people so they can get support when they don’t want to speak to their teacher”. When parents do communicate with them about drugs, younger teenagers are often appreciative. In a survey of 12-13 year-olds in Essex,12 carried out after a drug awareness event for parents: • 90% were glad that their parents had talked to them • 90% had confidence in what their parents had said to them • 89% said that they could talk to their parents about drug-related issues in the future • 81% believed that what their parents had said would affect their decisions about drug use

Adfam, which represents the needs of families of drug users, has mapped out a ‘Change Curve’ representing the typical emotional journey experienced by families as they come to terms with problematic drug use.

But for some young people – and for older teenagers – issues of trust with their parents are not so clear-cut. Common reasons cited for not wanting to talk to parents include: • Believing they already know what their parents will sa. • Not believing that their parents know what they are talking about • Thinking that talking about drugs within the family will worry their parents or make them suspicious • Not wanting to lie if they can avoid it6 By the age of 16 or 17, for many young people the culture gap between themselves and their parents can seem too wide for any constructive conversation on drugs to take place.

Denial Performance Shock

Not surprisingly, parents and carers are often seriously worried about the possibility of their children taking drugs. Indeed, research has shown that parents’ biggest worry about family life is the risk to their children from drugs and alcohol.13 This level of anxiety can colour many parents’ views on drugs, leading them to believe that: • Taking any drug even once can lead to long term addiction and harm • Drug use among young people is a sign of bad parenting • Drug use will lead young people to be out of control and excluded from society • Society views drug taking as wrong, and even ‘evil’6 Fears like these can be a barrier to parent-child communication on drugs. It’s certainly difficult for parents to understand the ‘pull factors’ associated with drugs: in one UK study, less than 20% of parents would agree that ‘taking drugs is fun’. 14 And when parents do try to address the issues, they often feel unprepared and unconfident. Research shows that many parents feel that they are: • Ill-equipped to deal with drugs issues • Uninformed on drugs and drugs culture • Unsure of what to look out for, or how to spot signs of experimentation • Lacking the basic skills and confidence to communicate with their children • Unaware of where to turn for help and information15

Blame Adaptation

Acceptance Time

Research has shown that drug awareness work with parents and carers – while sometimes challenging bears definite fruit. By meeting often quite basic needs for information, and by fulfilling more complex needs for communication skills, work with parents can have significant benefits in terms of their: • Awareness and knowledge about drugs • Confidence in positively communicating with their children about drugs • Confidence in positively influencing their children’s attitude and behaviour concerning drugs • Confidence in coping with any drug-related behaviour • Understanding of drugs prevention12

“Mum really cried when I told her I took drugs. I thought she'd go nuts but she was brilliant. We had a chat and she said she'd be there for me.” 15 year-old, London "They [parents] don't come at it the right way… they don't talk to you, they tell you, and I don't think that's right. They just jump down your throat." 15 year-old, Edinburgh

In a 2003 opinion poll, 75% of young people ranked drugs among ‘the most important issues’ facing the UK today5. They care – and are concerned about – the issues – but where do they go for information and support? Not surprisingly, they feel ambivalent about talking to their parents or carers – often wanting reassurance and advice, but not feeling able to share their real experience.

1 The Government’s 10-year drug strategy, Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain (1998, updated 2002), puts parents and families at the heart of the debate on drug prevention and support. 2 Duncan, T.E., Tildesley, E., Duncan, S.C., and Hops, H. (1995). The consistency of family and peer influences on the development of substance use in adolescence. Addiction, 90, 1647–60. 3 Farrell, M. and Strang, J. (1991). Substance use and misuse in childhood and adolescence. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 32, 109-128. 4 Robson, K. (2003). Living with a drug User, for the partners of drug users, Adfam. 5 Young People’s Attitudes Towards Politics, Nestlé Family Monitor / MORI, July 2003. 6 Talking About Drugs, Home Office, Department of Health / Department for Education & Skills, 2002. 7 Census 2001, Office for National Statistics. 8 One Parent Families Today, National Council for One Parent Families, 2001. 9 Children looked after by local Authorities, Year ending 31st March 2003, Office for National Statistics 2003. 10 Research for Abbey National, Gershuny, J. University of Essex with the Future Foundation, 2000. 11 Annual Abstract of Statistics 2000, Office for National Statistics. 12 Velleman, R., Mistral, W., Sanderling, L. (2000). Taking the Message Home: involving parents in drug prevention, report prepared for the Home Office. 13 National Family and Parenting Institute Survey, conducted by MORI, 2001. 14 Cohen, J. (1996). Drugs in the classroom: Politics, propaganda and censorship, Druglink, 11, 12-14. 15 Sims, H. (2002). Families in Focus: a report on families in England affected by problems with drugs and alcohol, Adfam. 16 MORI Poll for The Observer, 2002.

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On the other side of the familydrugs debate, parental substance misuse can have a significant and damaging impact on young people. In 2000, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs launched an Inquiry focusing on the children of problem drug users. The results, published in June 2003 as Hidden Harm, responding to the needs of children of problem drug users, highlighted the size and the extent of the problem, and set down key issues for policy and practice. • Effective treatment of the parent can have major benefits for the child • By working together, services can take many practical steps to protect and improve the health and well-being of affected children As well as covering the scale and impact of the problem, the report highlights the voices of parents and children, reviews existing policy and provision, and gives broad recommendations for future policy and practice, including: • Effective, expanded, high quality treatment services • A family-focused approach within substance misuse services, recognising their role and responsibility in ensuring children’s well-being, in partnership with others • Increased collaboration and training on the part of health services, social services, education services and the criminal justice system • Unlocking the potential in the non-statutory sector for developing helpful services The full report and executive summary are available to download or order at www.drugs.gov.uk

In this section we profile some of the great drugs awareness work going on at a local level relevant to this issue’s theme. If you want to develop your own drug awareness work in new directions, your local Drug Action Team should be able to advise you. Contact details for local Drug Action Teams can be found online at www.drugs.gov.uk.

Gloucestershire DAAT has taken a facilitative, capacity-building approach to supporting services for parents and concerned others affected by drugs. Since November 2002, when they held a successful workshop for parents as part of their annual conference, they have been strategically supporting parents’ self-help activity, and working with local partners such as frontline providers Gloucestershire Drugs and Alcohol Service to develop relevant services. Projects that they have supported include: • A pilot telephone buddying scheme linking isolated parents of problematic drug users in the Forest of Dean, which is now being replicated in other areas • A helpline and website run by Cheltenham Parents Support Group, a self-help group set up by the parents of drug users • A pilot family therapy project within a local residential rehab service • A training session on family perspectives, delivered by parents, as part of advanced drug training for Connexions Specialist Advisors As well as providing funding, Gloucestershire DAAT see their role as providing strategic advice, coordination and networking opportunities, and helping to develop communications resources such as helplines and printed materials. “I’m very excited at the way this area of work is developing,” says Alison Hustwitt, Gloucestershire DAAT’s Community Support Worker,“the parents and others groups are really finding their voice and making a contribution in this county.” For further info, contact Alison Hustwitt at Gloucestershire DAAT Tel: 01242 548 832 Email: alison.hustwitt@glos.nhs.uk

Sorted! provides awareness, harm reduction, treatment and care services to young people under 18 across Northumberland who are experiencing problems because of drug or alcohol misuse. Workers who were providing one-to-one support to young people found that they were spending a lot of informal time reassuring and informing the young person’s parents. A number of approaches to formalising support for parents were piloted, and the most beneficial was found to be the allocation of a separate worker from within the Sorted! project to support the parent. Throughout, Sorted! have been careful to maintain their focus on the young person’s care and confidentiality, developing clear contracts for parental involvement as part of the young person’s overall care plan, as well as separate confidentiality agreements for parents. They are also clear that they are not providing mediation – though they can refer clients to relevant services. Their goal is very much about informing and reassuring parents, and helping them to understand substance use. Sorted! are happy to share documents and policy relating to this service with interested projects. For further info, contact Serena Thompson or Jacqui Sutcliffe at Sorted! Tel: 01670 500 150 Email: sthompson@northumberland.gov.uk or jsutcliffe@northumberland.gov.uk

• Between 250,000 and 350,000 children have at least one parent with a serious drug problem (roughly 2-3% of all children under 16 in England and Wales) • Problematic parental drug use has a major negative impact on children’s health and education, and their social and psychological development • Reducing the harm to children from parental problem drug use should become a main objective of policy and practice

STARS - an initiative from the Children’s Society – works closely with families where the parents are currently using substances. The model of work used is both child-centred and child-focused and concentrates on ensuring the emotional needs of children in drug-using families are met. Time is invested in ensuring that children feel listened to and heard, that their needs are ascertained and that someone appropriate is trying to meet those needs. The main success STARS has in family situations is where it brings together the perspectives of both parent and child. To bring families together, they aim to: • Engage with parents and give them real choices about whether their child receives services • Provide support to parents who may need time and space to understand why services for their child are important • Support a child individually to make sense of their family situation • Enable a child either to discuss their perceptions and concerns with a parent directly, or providing a child with the skills and resources to represent their feelings to their parent • Give space and time to parents to reflect on and understand their child’s feelings and help them make sense of their child’s perspectives For further information on STARS work with families, contact: Karl Lonsdale Deputy Project Leader, STARS The Children's Society Mayfair Court, Northgate New Basford, Nottingham NG7 7GR Tel: 0115 942 2974 Email: kjl@childsoc.org.uk

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As part of their role in coordinating and extending family support services, Sheffield DAT has established Sheffield Family & Friends Alliance group, a membership group providing up to date information about drugs and family support services, as well as opportunities for training for parents and families. The advisory group for the alliance, representing a range of family support services, has recently produced a video about the experience of families affected by problematic drug use. Aiming to reduce the stigma attached to family support, and highlight the impact of drugs on families and communities, the video will be used in training and awareness activities with professionals in the health, family support and criminal justice fields, as well as with parents and drug users. For further info, contact Tracey Ford, Family & Friends Development Worker at Sheffield DAT Tel: 0114 273 6851 Email: tracey.ford@sheffieldn-pct.nhs.uk

70% of the people who live on the Ocean Estate in Tower Hamlets are originally from Bangladesh. OPAD has been created in partnership with NAFAS, a specialist agency for Bangladeshi drug users, to meet the needs of Bangladeshi parents - many of whom need basic information about drugs and alcohol. To reduce stigma, drug awareness for parents is built into existing events such as health meetings, religious gatherings, and parenting workshops. Meetings are advertised in local media, and are accompanied by leaflets on issues like heroin and crack cocaine in Bengali translation. Leaflets are also delivered by hand, giving workers the chance to engage in discussion face-to-face. A video covering a range of parenting issues – including drugs – has also proved invaluable, encouraging open debate in households and at meetings. OPAD is already working with projects in Oldham and Luton to replicate and spread the model it has used – and will shortly be mounting a website to complement and publicise all its activity. For further info, contact Tohel Ahmed at New Deal for Communities, Tower Hamlets Tel: 020 8709 300 Email: tohelahmed@oceanndc.co.uk

We hope the ideas in this section help to kickstart your own thinking about media and public awareness work relating to families. You may also find that some of the ideas in the FRANK TIPS and FRANK ACTIVITIES sheets in the back of this Update are useful for media work.

Don’t forget that other FRANK resources – especially the FRANK Display Kit, FRANK Activity Sheets and FRANK Fact Sheets - contain lots more ideas for local action. All these materials can be ordered using the More FRANK order form at the back of this Update, or online at www.drugs.gov.uk (where you can also download the Activity Sheets, Fact Sheets, FRANK logo and brand guidelines).

Why not contact your local radio stations and suggest a phone-in – and perhaps a debate – about families and drugs? Remind them that this is a vital issue, at the top of many parents’ concerns, so getting accurate advice out to families is important – and the subject should generate a lot of calls. Go with a clear proposal about what you think the programme could cover (but be prepared for it to go off track!). Offer a spokesperson from your organisation and, if possible, a parent and/or a young person who is prepared to talk about their experience of dealing with drug use in the family. You could also organise a spokesperson from the local police or school if you have good links. Make sure you get across the local angle, as well as relevant statistics (like those in this Update), plus details of your service, the FRANK helpline, and relevant resources like the FRANK Leaflet for Parents. An example press release for radio phone-ins is provided on page 13.

Use local networks and links to set up information and learning events for parents. Be aware that the stigma surrounding drug use may mean that parents are not comfortable attending events at drugs projects – or events which are billed as specifically focusing on drugs. It may be helpful to focus on issues such as ‘living with teenagers’ and to have open evenings in a local school, a lunchtime talk in a factory, a quiz in a pub, or an information stand at a bingo hall or shopping centre. Think through the events, clubs and societies which gather together large numbers of adults (e.g. parents’ evenings, rugby and cricket clubs, church meetings, arts centres etc.) and make sure you have a presence. Use events with parents to gather views, concerns and ideas September hails the start of as well as to pass on a new school year. The trip information – and try to and from school each day to include ice-breaker can be a good time for parents and young people to and warm-up activities, talk about current worries perhaps encouraging and concerns. Bear this in people to remember mind in the timing and format their own experiences of any publicity or media as teenagers. The FRANK work about relevant services – from morning phone-ins to Quiz for parents in the posters at school gates. Activity Sheets at the back of this update could be a useful warm-up, and the FRANK helpline and website, with their dedicated help for parents, will give you a clear route to further support if your services don’t already provide this. An example press release for events is provided on page 11 . FRANK SCHOOL RUN

B:DAT has produced a comprehensive three-year strategy that sets out a framework, targets and action plan for improved services for families. Within this, 'SPACED' - a joint specialist family support venture between CAN & Addaction (funded by B:DAT & CDRPs) - provides advice & information to parents and partners of drug users countywide and support for drug-using parents themselves. The initiative links into a new Drugs, Alcohol & Sexual Health Worker (DASH) post that B:DAT have created in Children's Services. The parents accessing SPACED are also involved with Regional Carers meetings and the Bedfordshire Family Support Steering Group. For further info, contact Jay Morley at B:DAT Tel: 01234 408 051 Email: james.morley@bedscc.gov.uk Web: www.bdat.org.uk

Use channels already at your disposal – like newsletters, websites, drop-in centres, events, helplines - to gather evidence of local concern and experience about drugs in the family. Questions such as ‘Are you worried that a member of your family is using drugs?' or 'Would you know what to do if you found out your child was using drugs?' could provide effective ‘hooks’ and headlines for local media work promoting relevant services and resources.

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The stigma and fear attached to drug use can be a real barrier to acknowledging problems in the family and seeking help, and can make a bad situation worse for affected families. This applies to young people whose parents misuse drugs, as well as parents whose children use drugs. On the basis of the local situation, approach your local media with potential story angles aimed at challenging stigma and stereotypes (pointing out the prevalence of the problems, de-bunking myths, and stressing that people can get support). Remember, the voices of people with personal experience are vital to any anti-stigma campaign, and can be expressed via all communications channels – from radio or newspaper stories to posters, leaflets or talks.

Approach major employers in your area - factories, business parks, supermarkets, hotels, taxi companies, sports venues, hospitals, call centres etc. – and see whether they would be prepared to work with you to publicise services and information for parents and families, including resources from FRANK. Newsletters, notice boards, intranets, reception areas, FRANK CLOSE TO HOME cafeterias and staff As well as helping to rooms – and even pay empower and inform parents, FRANK also offers help and packets! - are all great advice to young people who places to get the live with parents who regularly message across. This use drugs or alcohol. Contact could be followed up local schools to remind with a workshop or talk teachers of PSHE and during a lunch break or Citizenship about the FRANK in the evening, perhaps service and suggest that they explore issues around adult involving a parent who drug and alcohol use. You has dealt with drug use could encourage interested or a small group of teaching staff to register at young people who are the FRANK campaign pages prepared to explain www.drugs.gov.uk, to get free their perspectives, FRANK materials and regular campaign updates. unravel the jargon or voice their concerns. See the FRANK Action Update – FRANK at Work for more information on drug and alcohol use in the workplace and ideas for working with employers. MODEL PRESS RELEASE ON PARENTS’ OPEN NIGHTS



Whatever you think of how drugs are portrayed in TV and radio soaps, these storylines provide a powerful entrypoint to debate. Watch out for storylines relating to drugs and families, and make sure you video relevant episodes. Finding a local angle to a current soap storyline can add to your case if you’re trying to persuade the local media to cover drugs issues, and you can use videos of relevant excerpts at talks and events. To get permission for public showings, or to track down specific episodes, contact any helplines run by broadcasters (such as the BBC Helpline on 0800 93 934 or Channel 4 Helpline on 0800 600 444), who may put you in touch with the production office of the programme itself.

(Yourtown) Drug Action Team is organising an open evening for parents and carers of young people aged 10–13 at (insert date, time, venue). Called ‘A FRANK CHAT ABOUT DRUGS’ the evening will help parents and carers to find out more about drugs and learn some simple techniques for broaching the issues and starting a constructive dialogue with their young teenagers. Parents attending will also receive free copies of A Parent’s Guide to Drugs and Alcohol, a free booklet produced by FRANK, the national 24 hour confidential helpline for anyone concerned about drugs. The evening will kick off with a quiz on drugs and an introduction by (insert name and job title) from (Yourtown) Drug Action Team. Other speakers include (insert name), a young person who has used drugs in the past, and (insert name), a parent whose daughter has had problems with drugs. There will also be a screening of an EastEnders episode featuring Janine Butcher and her cocaine problem. (Insert name), Drug Action Team spokesperson, says: "Parents are concerned about drugs, but often feel they don’t know where to turn for help and advice. We want them to know that our door is open to them, and that they can make a difference. We can provide clear, realistic information and advice about drugs in a way that is going to help them talk to their kids with confidence. They can also ring FRANK on 0800 77 66 00 any time for confidential information and advice." The evening is completely free, and no booking is required. For more information please call (insert name) on (insert number).

Times change – and so does the slang! At events involving parents and young people, or as part of radio programmes or print media, highlighting the slang used by different generations can be a fun way of starting debate about what it’s like to be young, and how youth culture has moved on. Adventurous groups might even be prepared to organise a ‘slanging match’, where older and younger people take it in turns to say a slang word from their generation, with the ‘oldies’ and ‘kids’ gaining points for whichever words they can correctly identify. Here’s a few to get you going! 70’s & 80’s: Jars, Blues, Lewds, Red Leb, Gold Seal, Mary Jane 2003: Stush, Blazin, Billing up, Mushies, Muntered, Chisel

Parents often express the need for better communication skills with their teenagers – and feel this need acutely when it comes to drugs. Basic information on effective communications can be a real help as part of parents’ awareness materials. See Useful Resources on page 14 for details of FRANK resources for parents – all of which provide advice on communications. Use FRANK’s resources – including the material and information given in this pack - to contribute to your own materials and activities. An example press release for launching new materials is provided on page 12.

NOTES TO EDITORS – Background facts and figures on young people and drugs have been produced by the FRANK campaign and are available from (Yourtown) Drug Action Team. – FRANK is available 24 hours a day on 0800 77 66 00 to provide help for anyone with any questions about drugs and can be called for advice, help or just a chat. Information is also available from the website, talktofrank.com

0800 77 66 00


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Research shows that parents can play a vital role in young people’s attitudes to drugs. To make sure that local parents feel informed and confident about talking to their children, (Yourtown) Drug Action Team has teamed up with FRANK, the national 24-hour confidential helpline, to produce a guide to having a FRANK conversation with your child about drugs. Drugs: be FRANK with your kids is an easy to read booklet covering the facts about key drugs, as well as how best to communicate with young people at different ages, and where to go for help and advice. Available free to all local parents, the guide has been produced by (Yourtown) Drug Action Team, and is available FREE to local parents, subject to availability. Production of the guide has been sponsored by (Yourtown) Printers, who provided their services for free. Key messages from the booklet for parents who think their child might be involved with drugs are: • Stay calm. Panic is a natural reaction but you'll only be able to have a constructive conversation if you're feeling in control and ready to listen • Read up on the facts, knowledge is power! • Don't get hung up on blaming someone, either yourself, your child or their mates • Focus on your child, not you and your reactions, and not the drug. Make sure the conversation is about them • Reassure them - make sure your child knows you're there for them • Ring FRANK on 0800 77 66 00 for free, confidential advice 24 hours a day For more information please call (insert name) on (insert number). NOTES TO EDITORS – Interviews with parents whose children have used drugs can be arranged on request. – Background facts and figures on young people and drugs have been produced by the FRANK campaign and are available from (Yourtown) Drug Action Team. – FRANK is available on 0800 77 66 00 to provide help for anyone with any questions about drugs and can be called for advice, help or just a chat. Information is also available from the website, talktofrank.com

As part of an on-going local debate about parents, young people and drugs, (Yourtown) Drugs Project is organising a radio phone-in for parents and young people to debate how parents deal with drug issues – and the kind of support from parents that young people feel they need. The phone-in will be broadcast at (insert date, time) on (Yourtown) Radio Station (insert frequency). The on air debate follows last week’s successful open evening at (Yourtown) Secondary School about the role of parents in influencing young people’s choices on drugs. At the event, parents completed a survey about their knowledge and concerns on drugs, and young people from the school presented a video about how they view drugs. “As soon as we told them about the issues raised at last week’s open evening and showed them the results of our parents’ poll which showed that 90% of parents felt they needed more information and advice on drugs, (Yourtown) Local Radio was keen to host the phone-in,” said (insert name and job title) of (Yourtown) Drugs Project.“We know that parents and carers can play a vital role in helping young people deal with drugs, if only they have the information and the confidence. We are here to make sure they get the information they need.” Parents who are concerned should tune in to the phone-in, or ring FRANK on 0800 77 66 00 any time for free, confidential information and advice. For more information, please call (insert name) on (insert number).

NOTES TO EDITORS – The results of the (Yourtown) Drugs Project survey are available on request. – Interviews with parents whose children have used drugs can be arranged on request. – Background facts and figures on young people and drugs have been produced by the FRANK campaign and are available from (Yourtown) Drug Action Team. – FRANK is available on 0800 77 66 00 to provide help for anyone with any questions about drugs and can be called for advice, help or just a chat. Information is also available from the website, talktofrank.com

0800 77 66 00


0800 77 66 00


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FRANK is here to make sure that parents and carers – as well as young people – get the information and advice they need to deal with their concerns about drugs, and to support their children in dealing with drugs issues. FRANK’s resources for parents and carers are there to help YOU help parents, and to serve as a background resource for your own materials and activities. For more information on any of FRANK’s services or resources, please ring the FRANK campaign helpline on 020 7273 3833, or email the FRANK campaign team at frank@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

ADFAM National organisation which aims to raise awareness of, and take action to alleviate family problems associated with drugs and alcohol. Also produces research and support materials. Website has a search facility to find local family support groups. Tel: 020 7928 8898 Email: admin@adfam.org.uk Web: www.adfam.org.uk AL-ANON FAMILY GROUPS UK AND EIRE Understanding, support and information (including publications) and local groups for families and friends of people with alcohol problems, including young people affected by their parents drinking. Tel: London Branch: 020 7403 0888 (helpline open 10am - 4pm; or ring 020 7407 8180 or 7878 out of hours) Glasgow branch: 0141 339 8884 (10am - 4pm) Web: www.al-anonuk.org.uk ALATEEN Part of the Al-Anon fellowship for young people, aged 12 to 20, who are affected by a problem drinker. Members share ideas, experience and support, often in local groups. Alateen also produces support materials. Tel: 020 7403 0888 (helpline open 24 hours) Web: www.al-anonuk.org.uk/alateen.php CHILDLINE The UK's free, 24-hour helpline for children or young people in trouble or danger. Tel: 0800 11 11 (helpline open 24 hours) Web: www.childline.org.uk FAMILIES ANONYMOUS (FA) A worldwide fellowship of relatives and friends of people involved in the abuse of mind-altering substances, or with related behavioural problems. Many local groups across the UK. Tel: 0845 1200 660 (office open weekdays 1-4pm. Contact people are available between 6-10pm evenings and weekends: the numbers for each day are left on the answerphone) Email: office@famanon.org.uk Web: www.famanon.org.uk PARENTS AGAINST DRUG ABUSE (PADA) An organisation set up to support parents of drug users. Runs support groups across the UK and a helpline. A large percentage of helpline workers have experienced drug use within their own families. Tel: 08457 023 867 (helpline) Email: admin@pada.org.uk Web: www.pada.org.uk

PARENTING EDUCATION & SUPPORT FORUM National umbrella organisation for people who work in parenting education and support. Wide range of learning, support and training activities to help those in a parenting role to improve their understanding of their own and their children's personal, social, emotional, intellectual and physical needs. Tel: 020 7284 8370 Email: pesf@dial.pipex.com Web: www.parenting-forum.org.uk DRUG CONCERN (previously known as PARENTS FOR PREVENTION) Helpline, support groups and training for parents and carers concerned about their child's drug use. Tel: 0845 120 3745 (helpline open 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Thursday, and 9 am to 4.30 pm Friday. At evenings and weekends, leave your name and number on the answerphone and a volunteer will get back to you.) RELEASE Provides a range of services dedicated to meeting the health, welfare and legal needs of drug users and those who live and work with them. Has recently launched a support and information service for heroin users and people who care for them. Tel: 020 7729 5255 Email: info@release.org.uk Web: www.release.org.uk RE-SOLV The biggest charity that solely deals with solvent abuse. Has a national free helpline, factsheets, research and information specifically tailored for parents. Tel: 0808 800 2345 (helpline open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, excluding public holidays) Email: helpline@re-solv.org Web: www.re-solv.org PARENTLINE PLUS Support to anyone parenting a child – the child's parents, stepparents, grand parents and foster parents. Runs a freephone helpline, courses for parents, develops projects and provides a range of information. Tel: 0808 800 2222 (helpline 24 hours) Email: centraloffice@parentlineplus.org.uk Web: www.parentlineplus.org.uk TRUST FOR THE STUDY OF ADOLESCENCE Research, training, publications and projects aimed at improving the lives of young people and families. Tel: 01273 693311 Email: info@tsa.uk.com Web: www.tsa.uk.com

FRANK is available at the end of the phone (0800 77 66 00), on the web (talktofrank.com) or by email (frank@talktofrank.com) to talk to young people, parents and carers concerned about drugs. FRANK can also put callers in touch with local services in their area, and can send out free information materials. Staff at the FRANK helpline are specially trained to support parents and carers in understanding drugs issues, and in communicating sensitively with their children about drugs.

The FRANK website, talktofrank.com, contains accessible information on a wide range of drugs, as well as practical advice for parents, carers and friends on raising the issues, as well as a searchable database of local services. The loose sheets at the back of this Update reproduce some of the information from the website, and provide further useful material.

As well as accessible leaflets on drugs for 11-14 and 14-16 year-olds, and a short leaflet for parents, FRANK produces an informative Parents’ Guide to Drugs & Alcohol. This 22-page booklet covers basic information about drugs, background to the law, practical advice on understanding substance issues from young people’s perspective, and guides on effective support and communication at different key ages. The guide is available free to parents via talktofrank.com and can be ordered using the More FRANK order form at the back of this update.

And don’t forget the FRANK resources provided at the back of this Update. Material for parents includes Drugs: a Parents’ Guide, Drugs: Be FRANK with your Kids and Drugs in your Family. There is also an advice sheet for friends called Drugs: Be FRANK with your Mates. Finally, there is an advice sheet for young people whose parents misuse drugs or alcohol called When Your Parents Have a Drug Problem. This contains basic advice, for use as part of on-going interventions and support.

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www.alcoholconcern.org.uk Alcohol Concern is the national agency for alcohol misuse. Website contains factsheets, publications, an online library database, news about what is happening in the alcohol field and links to useful websites. www.cascade-drugs.org.uk Drug information service for young people, parents, users, carers and professionals. Much of the website has been put together by young people. It includes drug facts, discussion boards and a problem page for parents. www.drugscope.org.uk In-depth information on all aspects of drug use, with frequently asked questions about drugs in the ‘Drug Information’ section. www.e-parents.org Online resource for parents offers advice on various topics, including dealing with children with behavioural problems, parenting teenagers, and how to parent when you are in a crisis. Created by the National Family and Parenting Institute. www.familyrapp.com A website designed to answer many different parenting questions in a single site. Includes a drugs section and discussion boards. www.raisingkids.co.uk Support, information, and friendship to everyone who's raising kids. Provides advice and professional opinions and hosts online discussions. www.parentlineplus.org.uk Charity offering information and support for anyone parenting a child. www.spig.clara.net The Shared Parenting Information Group provides information on how both parents can retain a strong positive role in their children’s lives after divorce or separation. www.thefamilyfactfile.com A resource for parents that provides information on drugs. Includes helplines, an A-Z of drugs, legal facts, and advice on drugs in schools. Also has an online roleplay section. www.thesite.org A ‘guide to the real world’ for young people aged 16-25 with accessible info and advice on drugs, health, sex and relationships, plus in-depth features on clubbing, festivals, holidays and student life. Well-used discussion boards. www.ukparents.co.uk A magazine site for parents. Includes discussion boards and problem pages with drugs information.

ADFAM Range of resources for people affected by someone’s drug use including leaflets for parents, partners, siblings and friends of drug users as well as reports for professionals. Also offer publications for children whose parents take drugs, grandparents and those who have been bereaved by drug use. Tel: 020 7928 8898 Email: admin@adfam.org.uk Web: www.adfam.org.uk AL-ANON / ALATEEN Range of publications on living with an alcoholic partner or parent, all of which can be ordered from their website. Web: www.al-anonuk.org.uk British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) Publication Children Exposed to Parental Substance Misuse aimed at both families and professionals and all those dealing with the consequences of parental substance misuse. Tackles practice, policy and research issues surrounding parental substance misuse and its effects on children. Web: www.baaf.org.uk FAMILIES ANONYMOUS A wide range of materials for friends and families of drug users, based on the Twelve Step approach, all of which can be ordered via a printable order form from their website. Web: www.famanon.org.uk LIFELINE Leaflets on Drug Myths and Drug Facts for parents, plus parents’ leaflets on the South Asian Community and Drugs (in Urdu/English and Bengali/English). Tel: 0161 839 2075 Email: publications@lifeline.org.uk Web: www.lifeline.org.uk PARENTING EDUCATION & SUPPORT FORUM Resources for professionals working in parenting education and support, many of which are available to download free from their website. Tel: 020 7284 8370 Email: pesf@dial.pipex.com Web: www.parenting-forum.org.uk

This listing is provided for information only. Inclusion does not imply endorsement of resources listed.

And don’t forget talktofrank.com for information and advice on drugs

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