AET newsletter for teachers and other professionals

Spring Term, January 2020, Ed 45

Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a relaxing break. In this edition of our newsletter for teachers and other professionals, you can find out about our third Alcohol and Drugs Education Conference which will be held on June 19th at The Guildhall in London as well as our work in new areas of the UK and emerging research on poly use of cannabis and alcohol. We look forward to supporting you in preparing for alcohol education becoming part of statutory requirements for PSHE from September this year. Our wonderful regionally based staff are here to help!

Drug and Alcohol Education Conference 2020 - Why it matters and how to do it well

We are delighted to be co-hosting the Drug and Alcohol Education Conference 2020 in partnership with the Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation and The City of London Corporation which will be held on June 19th. This will be a day for professionals to hear from leading experts on the latest research on alcohol and drugs prevention, attend a choice of workshops on evidence-based programmes, and receive planning & evaluation advice for effective PSHE.

This is our third bi-annual National Conference on Alcohol and Drugs Education and Prevention and its aim is to ensure that all professionals working with young people are equipped with the most up to date facts and figures, an understanding of best practice and the evidence base, and resources and tools to deliver engaging and effective drugs and alcohol education.

For schools, this is a great opportunity to make sure you are fully confident, prepared and resourced to teach effective alcohol and drug education to students from September 2020 when it becomes mandatory.

For all teachers, school and college staff, and for any professionals working with young people, it’s a chance to make sure staff are equipped with the best resources and training to ensure an understanding of the context and scale of issues young people face.

A range of expert speakers will provide a valuable insight into the current issues, developments and ideas in the field. The hands-on workshops will demonstrate how best to support young people in building their knowledge, resilience and life skills that will help them make safer choices.

Delegates will walk away with resources and access to PowerPoints in order to be able to plan, deliver and evaluate their PSHE scheme of work or lead group work for young people in other settings. Although the focus is on alcohol and drugs, the interactive workshops will showcase skills, games and activities that are applicable to all PSHE and Health Education.

The conference is amazing value with a special early bird rate of just £49 for schools and charities including presentations, lunch and attendance of two workshops and £79 for other professionals.

To register your interest, or for further information, email and to book your place, visit

Tesco funding for work across Cumbria, Lancashire and East Midlands

As part of Tesco's 100th birthday celebrations, we were delighted to be selected by the Tesco Bags of Help Centenary Grant scheme in two regions for 2020.

Tesco customers across Cumbria, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and Derbyshire voted for one of three charities of their choice between October and December last year and as a result of this we will shortly be awarded a share of a wonderful sum of money.

The funds we receive will be used to support children and young people in schools, special schools, pupil referral units and youth/sports clubs throughout these regions with interactive resources and training that build resilience and promote safer life choices around alcohol. We will be writing to all schools in these regions to outline the wonderful support we are able offer.

Bookings being taken now!
If you work in these regions and would like to take advantage of our support either with resources or training sessions, please contact:
Cumbria and Lancashire:
East Midlands:

We are looking forward to working with and supporting schools and clubs in these areas!

Research News

Don’t mix - Drinking while smoking cannabis increases risk taking
New research has found that simultaneous use of alcohol and marijuana is riskier than using either substance alone, because their effects can interact and cause excessive depression of the central nervous system. This can result in more negative consequences such as driving under the influence, accidents, cognitive impairment, and symptoms of substance use disorders, as well as alterations in mood and well-being. Alcohol and cannabis taken together, increases the depressant effects of both. Judgement, reaction time and coordination are affected, making it unsafe to drive.

Cannabis affects the part of the brain stem that controls basic functions, such as nausea and vomiting, and this can make the alcohol-cannabis mix particularly dangerous—even fatal as it can suppress the body’s natural response to vomit after drinking too much. This could mean an increased risk of alcohol poisoning. When it comes to driving, all it takes is 40 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood (a blood alcohol content of 0.04) and a single joint to feel the effects equivalent to a blood alcohol content of over 0.08 (Robbe, 1998), i.e. the legal limit for driving.

The study involved 1400 students who had used both alcohol and marijuana (alone and/or together) in the past year, and who completed an online survey assessing their own substance use and negative consequences, perceptions of simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use among peers and close friends, and ease of access to marijuana. Overall, three-fourths of participants reported having used alcohol and marijuana simultaneously in the past year, on average twice per month.

Previous research has shown that students' perceptions of substance use among their peers (which may differ from their peers' actual use) have a strong influence on their own behaviours. Consistent with this, the new study found that students who perceived high rates of simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use among their peers (and particularly among their close friends) were more likely to engage in frequent simultaneous alcohol and marijuana use themselves ─and were also more likely to experience negative consequences.

Source: Research Society on Alcoholism 

Funding news

We are so grateful for an extremely generous grant from The Garfield Weston Foundation. The Foundation have supported our core work almost since we first started and has been essential for our sustainability. This money will be used to support our core work ensuring that young people learn to stay safe around alcohol and so reduce all negative risk taking.

The Foundation are also contributing towards the building of our new office, community and training space and revenue generating café, PiP’s, on the Great Field, Poundbury. Building is scheduled to begin in March and we hope to be in our new home in August!

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