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Involving families affected by substance use in alcohol and drug education

Using visitors to enhance alcohol and drug education sessions is a common approach taken by many schools, with teachers feeling that people with direct experience can bring a valuable ‘real life’ element to lessons. Similarly, good practice guidance states that external contributors represent a key source of advice and support for schools in the delivery of alcohol and drug education.1 But whilst visitors can bring benefits if used properly, a lack of care and attention to good practice can result in sessions having limited, or even negative, outcomes.

Although this document contains relevant learning on how schools can use any sort of visitor to enhance alcohol and drug education, it focuses particularly on contributions from families affected by substance use: for example, a parent whose child experienced problems with drugs or alcohol.