Substance Use

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A drug can be defined as a chemical, which causes changes in the way the human body functions mentally, physically or emotionally. For the purpose of this policy we are concerned with drugs which have the power to change a previous mood and the way a person thinks about things, and drugs upon which the taker may become physically or more often psychologically dependent.

The school sees itself as having a role in the process of enabling students to increase control over and improve their health. We endeavour to promote the well being of students by:-
1. Providing a safe and healthy environment.
2. Promoting positive health behaviours.
3. Increasing knowledge about health.
4. Promoting the self esteem and self awareness of students.
5. Working in partnership with parents and pupils.
To this end, in response to the encroaching drug culture in our society we feel the need to implement a comprehensive policy to address the problem of substance misuse.
The policy will focus on:
1. Strategies for prevention of substance misuse problems i.e. Walk Tall, Aisling, Crew Network, Alive-O, S.P.H.E.
2. Procedures for dealing with drug incidences in the school.
3. Guidelines and information for teachers to improve their response to the problems of substance misuse.
This document should read with the Code of Discipline/Behaviour Policy of the school.
Implementation of the Policy.

The policy will be available from the principal to the B.O.M, Teachers and other staff members.
The policy will be evaluated regularly, and updated where necessary.
The school wishes to make clear that the primary role of substance misuse prevention rests with the parents.
It is accepted amongst educationalists that education about alcohol, tobacco and drugs is best carried out by teachers through the inclusion of the curriculum. This S.P.H.E. Programme would also draw on the expertise available from the community i.e. Parents Gardai, and Health Board.
School Policy
" The school is a smoke free area.
" Students are not permitted to smoke or possess cigarettes on school grounds
" Staff may smoke only in designated areas ,out of sight of the children
" Visitors must comply with the school's restricted smoking policy
" Pupils found smoking on school premises will be reported to the principal and parents will be informed
" Tobacco will not be permitted as a prize in school raffles
School Policy:
" Pupils will not be allowed to bring alcohol to school or to consume alcohol on school premises or during school activities
" If a teacher suspects that a student is under the influence s/he will immediately inform the principal and consult on what action should be taken
" If a student comes to school under the influence of alcohol ,their parents will be called to take them home
" Students breaking these rules will be dealt with according to the school's disciplinary procedure.

School policy:
" Students are forbidden from being in possession of or using illicit drugs or solvents in the school premises.
" Illicit drugs found on school premises should be locked away and the gardai will be contacted to dispose of them .Teachers are advised not to transport illicit substances at any time.
" If a teacher is of the opinion that a student is under the influence of illicit drugs or solvents, s/he will immediately inform the principal and consult on what action should be taken
" Where the school suspects trafficking of illicit drugs an investigation will be carried out. Parents of any student involved will be informed. The advice and assistance of the Garda Juvenile Liaison Officer will be sought.
" The school B.O.M. will expect parents to inform the principal [al or class teacher if they suspect their child of drug taking.

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