New drug education toolkit launched for teachers

SINGAPORE - A new anti-drug toolkit for educators has been launched to help equip educators with knowledge on drug abuse, and provide guidance on how they can support and keep youths away from drugs.

The Preventive Drug Education (PDE) toolkit was revealed at the ACT! Conference on At-Risk Youths.

The toolkit was first recommended by the Task Force on Youths and Drugs (TFYD) in June, and was developed by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), with inputs from the Ministry of Education (MOE).

It provides information and advice on the following topics:

a. Information on the commonly-abused drugs, the effects and dangers associated with abusing these drugs and inhalants, and the penalties for the possession, consumption or trafficking of these drugs in Singapore.

b. Contacts and helplines which educators can refer to for additional assistance if they encounter a student with drug abuse problems, or if they require more information on drugs.

c. Rehabilitation programmes available to youth drug abusers to help their rehabilitation from drug abuse.

d. Findings of a study on young abusers, commissioned by the TFYD and conducted by Home Team psychologists. It provides information on the profiles of youth abusers, their motivations, risk factors and views on drugs. It also lists the telltale signs of potential drug abuse among students, and ways that educators can help them say 'no' to drugs.

e. The laws protecting our youths from the drug threat and the penalties for committing drug or inhalant-related offences.

f. Suggested lesson plans that educators can use to conduct activities for their students, when teaching them about the harms of drug abuse.

Speaking on the role of educators in the fight against drugs, Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Mr Amrin Amin addressed educators and counsellors at the event. He said: "As educators and youth counsellors, you are our major touch-points with our youths and play a significant role in advancing our anti-drug cause. Your continued support has been and will continue to be crucial in our anti-drug efforts."

Copies of the toolkits will be distributed to schools in January 2016, while a soft copy can be downloaded on the CNB website. Another toolkit for parents will also be launched next year.