wamyToday, the father of singer Amy Winehouse is to launch an education program to help address the “worrying knowledge gap” amongst young people about the dangers of substance abuse.

Jazz singer Mitch Winehouse is teaming up with Amy’s friend, Russell Brand, to launch “The Amy Winehouse Resilience Programme.”  Compelled by the “woefully underfunded” state of drug and alcohol education provision for teenagers, the programme will be trialled in 50 English High Schools.  Along with educational lessons and workshops, organised in association with AddAction, will also offer a confidential telephone line and online support for young people.

The Amy Winehouse Foundation was founded after the talented chanteuse was cut down in her prime at just 27, after an accidental alcohol overdose. The diminutive singer had beaten her drug addiction, but her body could not deal with the effects of binge drinking, and she passed away suddenly in 2011. Inspired by Amy’s troubles, the Foundation aims to”… prevent the effects of drug and alcohol misuse on young people. …. also aims to support, inform and inspire vulnerable and disadvantaged young people to help them reach their full potential.”

The program will all the education do not just children but their parents too. The scheme offers to help understand the reasons behind substance abuse, and the range of the substances are being abused. Mitch is particularly concerned about the circulation of so-called “legal highs,” due to the fact that very little is known about what is actually in them. Sessions will also include first-hand experiences from recovering addicts. Students will be given a chance to develop resilience by building self-esteem, strategies to deal with peer pressure and minimising destructive or risky behaviour.

By helping to enable young people to make more positive life choices, the Amy Whitehouse foundation hopes that they can help reduce the number of young people addicted to drink and drugs. Having first-hand experience as a parent of an addict, Mitch is able to see the flaws in the current education system. Of course that doesn’t take away the parents responsibility role in educating their children about the dangers of drink or drugs but can help support and trigger discussions in the hall. Education about substance abuse whilst young  is shown to be effective in helping reduce the likelihood of becoming an addict. By weighing up the pros and cons and having the full facts someone may be less likely to try them in the first place.

The foundation have certainly done their research. Having spent the last year talking to addicts in treatment centres is become apparent that there has been a real lack of education in the past and Many of the recovering patients they spoke to felt that if they had had more education about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and addiction they may have been less likely to end up an addict. Inform yourself about children and students with addictions in our student addiction guide.

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