Nothing Like Me

Earlier this week, pupils at the High School of Dundee received a powerful message on the impact of drug use on young people when they attended a special event at Abertay University.

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On Monday, officers from Dundee’s Maryfield Community Policing Team gave a presentation to pupils in F4-F6 on the dangers of substance misuse and the importance of life choices regarding drugs and alcohol as young people leave school and move forward into adult life.

Entitled ‘Nothing Like Me’, due to the common misconception that those who are affected by drug use are people who are unlike them or in some way different, the presentation was the result of an innovative collaboration between the School, Police Scotland, the Procurator Fiscal’s office, St Andrews University, the NHS and local charities (including Addaction and the Cairn Centre/WEB Project).

It saw the pupils hear from a range of speakers from those organisations, on issues ranging from the medical implications of drug use and the sorts of substances found within each of the commonly used 'party drugs’, to the consequences of drug misuse on future study and employment, and the implications of being charged with a drugs offence.

In addition, the pupils heard personal testimonies from three people who had fought addiction in their own lives, and an extremely moving insight from former pupil Daniel Johnston’s father, David. Daniel tragically died last year after taking drugs at a party, affecting not just his family and friends, but all at the school.

The event was based on the same model as the existing, and very powerful, ‘Safe Drive, Stay Alive’ roadshow which takes place around the UK each year, and the School was pleased to be able to give the pupils the chance to experience this powerful new approach to drugs education. 

Deputy Head (Guidance), Sam Watson, said, “The aim of the event was to empower young people to both engage with, and actively address, a key issue that affects their age group. We very much hope that this hard-hitting presentation will have a positive impact on our young people and will help shape their views on drug use both now and in the future.

“We also hope that the impact of this pilot event will be such that it can be rolled out to a wider network of local and national schools in the future.”

Tayside Police Division said, “The feedback received by the Maryfield team from all who attended, both as contributors and audience, was universally positive, and it is hoped that this presentation can be given again to other schools, colleges and universities in the future.”