Amy Winehouse Foundation launches drug programme

13/03/13

Mitch Winehouse

The Amy Winehouse Foundation has launched a drug and alcohol educational programme for schools in England.

The foundation's resilience programme will initially be rolled out in 10 different locations and will be delivered by people who are already in recovery.

Amy's father, Mitch made the announcement alongside the drugs treatment charity Addaction.

We're seeing young people and adults injecting Mephedrone and that's a serious issue... if you layer on top of that alcohol you are going to have some significant consequences
Simon Antrobus
Chief executive of Addaction

He was also supported by actor and former drug addict Russell Brand.

Concerns over legal highs and mixing them with other substances like alcohol were highlighted during a two-day conference on addiction.

Addaction says there are also worries over the number of people injecting legal highs.

Simon Antrobus, the chief executive of Addaction, says that it is an issue which needs a response.

He said: "If you think back probably 18 months ago when we were first talking about Mephedrone, we really didn't know what the consequences were.

"Now we're seeing young people and adults injecting Mephedrone and that's a serious issue. And of course if you layer on top of that alcohol you are going to have some significant consequences."

Parents

Mitch Winehouse says he is in agreement and says he is concerned that "people don't realise they are confusing legal with safe".

He said: "We have to tell them what the compounds are in these so called legal highs.

Russell Brand

"We're not saying to them, 'Don't do it. Don't smoke, don't drink, don't take legal highs.' We're saying, 'Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's safe.'

"There is an epidemic. The good part, if you want to call it that, is that crack cocaine and heroin are coming down, legal highs are going up because it's much cheaper. It's poison and they don't know that it's poison."

He said that his plan was for a resilience programme to support and inform pupils, parents and teachers on drug and alcohol issues and any other personal concerns surrounding those issues.

The programme, with support from Childline, will also offer a free, confidential phone and online service for children and young people across the UK, if they don't feel confident discussing them in school.

"It's not just the kids that are suffering from addiction problems, it's the parents too," he said.

"That's what we're there for, to highlight these problems and to help the young people and their parents."

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