Policy On Drugs Education

Being aware that young people increasingly find themselves in situations where illegal drugs are readily available, and consequently that the opportunity to experiment may also be likely to increase, Erne College has produced the accompanying policy.

We are also aware that the majority of our pupils will chose not to use illegal substances.  However, it is important to realise that young people in the early years of post-primary education may be exposed to the effects of drug abuse in the wider community.


In drawing up this policy consideration has been given to:

i. substance abuse prevention

ii. methods of intervention if a pupil is found abusing drugs


General Aims Of The Policy

  • To promote and develop the ethos, values and beliefs of the college as set out in the college’s agreed aims.

  • To recognise that the welfare of our young people is of paramount

  • importance and to develop the college as a health promoting environment.

  • To focus in prevention and intervention.

  • To work in partnership with parents and external agencies.To ensure that all relevant curricular areas will contribute to the raising of pupil awareness of the health risks associated with substance abuse.



Educational Objectives

  • To enable students to make healthy informed decisions by increasing knowledge, challenging attitudes and developing skills to provide the with accurate information about substances.

  • To increase students’ understanding about the implications and possible consequences of the use and abuse of substances.

  • To encourage students to have an understanding of the difficulties faced by addicts and users.

  • To widen students’ understanding about related health risks and social issues e.g. crime and HIV.

  • To provide students with the knowledge, attitudes and confidence to reject the use of all illegal substances.

  • To seek to minimise the risks encountered by users and potential users.

  • To enable students to identify sources of appropriate personal support if the need should ever arise.


Drugs Prevention

  • In Personal and Social Education classes, Science and Physical Education, the physical and moral effects of drug abuse and addressed and presented in such a way as to discourage experimentation.

  • In P.S.E. and Religious Education classes, students are helped to form mature responses to peer pressure.

  • Each teacher will be made aware of the problems, signs, and symptoms of drug and solvent abuse and has a responsibility to adhere to and promote this policy.  Parents will be provided with relevant literature from time to time.

  • All students will be informed of college procedures regarding substance abuse and the possession, use or sale of illegal substances.


Procedures to be adopted should an incident occur involving drugs or solvents

Should an incident occur in the college involving the abuse or dregs or solvents, following procedures will be carried out:


Legally held Substances

In the case of misuse of legally held substances, the member of staff who discovers the incident should inform the Principal (or the Vice Principal in the Principal’s absent) who will:

  • assess the situation

  • ensure the safety of the pupil and others

  • take the young person to the Erne hospital, or call for an ambulance

  • inform parents

Legally held Substances

  • Should any illegal substance be found in the premises, staff should take possession of the evidence, preferably in the presence of an adult witness. The relevant authorities eg the Community Police Liason Officer should be informed.


  • Suspicion of trafficking in illegal drugs in the college or bringing illegal drugs into the college will lead to an investigation co-ordinated by the Principal.  If an offence is confirmed the person or persons concerned will be suspended, pending a decision by the Board of Governors on expulsion.  In the interim, guidance will be given to students and parents on the availability of specialist advice from support agencies.


  • Incidents where students are suspected of buying illegal substances in the college or bringing illegal substances into the college will be investigated by the Principal who will consult with other support agencies as appropriate.  If the offence is confirmed the person or persons concerned will be dealt with according to the college disciplinary policy.


  • Any student suspected of taking drugs outside the college will be monitored and, if appropriate, be offered counselling.  Parents will be informed.  The college, parents and appropriate agencies may then work together to support the young person involved.  The Governors will expect parents to inform the Principal if they suspect their children of substance abuse, or of possessing or using illegal substances.


(i) Any incident involving the misuse of drugs will be carefully documented.

(ii) Should an incident involving the misuse of drugs or solvents occur in the college its implications will be considered by a team which will include;

  • the Principal

  • the Vice Principal

  • Year Curriculum Co-ordinator.

(iii) the involvement of the media will be dealt with by the Principal.

(iv) All staff – teaching and non teaching – will be made aware of the above procedures.


The P.S.E. programme in the college covers the consequences of alcohol abuse.

Students are not permitted to bring alcohol into the college or to consume alcohol in the college or during any college – sponsored activity.

Students breaking this rule will be dealt with according to the college’s disciplinary policy (See serious offences).

Dissemination of Policy on Substance Use and Misuse

The Board of Governors and all staff will be given a copy of this policy.  Copies will be available in the Principal’s office.


A summary of this policy will be published in the College Prospectus and the policy will be made available to all Parents/Guardians on request.