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Amy Winehouse-inspired classes to teach Glasgow children important lesson

The Amy Winehouse Foundation is working with Addaction to teach Glasgow school kids about the dangers of alcohol and drug addiction.

The singer died of alcohol poisoning in July 2011 at the age of 27, following a long battle with drug and alcohol addiction. The Amy Winehouse Foundation was established by the star’s family on Sept. 14, 2011 — what would have been her 28th birthday — to help prevent children from developing addictions.

Specifically the Foundation’s Resilience Programme sends trained and accredited volunteers into U.K. secondary schools. They highlight their own experiences of substance misuse and recovery to inform students, parents and teachers about the reasons young people may misuse substances and what can be done to prevent it.

More: Terrible Teens: The alcohol talk makes a difference if you do it right

Amy’s father Mitch Winehouse, a trustee of the Foundation, says: “Far too many young people and their families are affected by substance misuse, including alcohol and ‘legal highs’. We want to change that. One of the key needs we have identified is for an effective educational and support service for young people and their families, working within schools. In partnership with Addaction we have developed a programme which works with students, parents and teachers to make them better able to communicate with each other and make informed choices.”

More: I’ll let my teen drink at home once in a while

Addaction, one of the U.K.’s leading specialist drug and alcohol treatment charities, is working alongside Glasgow Council on Alcohol (GCA) and Drink Wise Age Well as part of a wider, pioneering project in Glasgow to help prevent addiction and support those who are already dealing with substance misuse.

The focus will be on young people and families, reported Glasgow’s Evening Times.

“A lot of it will be around school work, such as Young Boozebusters, which is a four week interactive programme for primary six and seven,” revealed Evelyn Lang of Addaction’s Clearer Choices. “We’ve also got a 13 plus children at risk service where we’ll be working with social work and the Children’s Reporter.”

More: OECD study blames women for the rise in U.K. alcohol consumption

The Amy Winehouse-inspired programme is being developed at the moment, with a view to bringing it to Glasgow secondary schools. “We will adapt it slightly because it’s been used in England. We do want to Glasgow-fy it,” Ms. Lang said of the programme, which is already in place in Liverpool and London.

We can’t shield our kids from the temptations of alcohol and drugs so programmes like this are vital and the fact that it is delivered by those who are already in recovery, and can speak from the heart about the realities of substance misuse, means it’s more likely to strike a chord with youngsters. The focus on self-esteem and peer pressure makes it completely relevant in today’s society. Allowing young people to explore the issues, and talk about alcohol, drugs and addiction in a non-judgemental way, is something we need to see rolled out across every U.K. city.

For more information visit Addaction.

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