PSHE/Citizenship GCSE: Jade's experience of taking mephedrone

Jade gives a highly personal account of how taking a variety of illegal drugs devastated her life.

She describes how what began as a casual, one-off activity to help her relationship with her boyfriend eventually led to reliance, with severe physical and psychological consequences.

At 13, Jade was introduced to cannabis by her boyfriend.

Though at first reluctant, she soon became a regular smoker, moving on to mephedrone to which she eventually became addicted.

She began skipping school, and became increasingly isolated from her friends. It was only a final ultimatum from her mum, to whom she was devoted, that persuaded her to quit.

Jade has now returned to full time education and is studying for her A levels, having learned some hard lessons.

Jade's story is interspersed with graphics, which explain in detail the chemical and biological processes that were taking place in her body as she was taking drugs.

The film also highlights key statistics in relation to young people's drug taking, confirming that only a very small minority of young people have ever tried them.

This clip is from the series Drink and Drugs: My Story.

Teacher Notes

This clip could spark discussions about the first illegal drug Jade used.

It was cannabis, but what were the circumstances under which it happened? What could Jade have done differently?

In small groups or pairs, students could discuss the significance of mental health on Jade's experience.

Jade split up from her boyfriend and felt depressed. It is natural to feel depressed sometimes.

What healthy alternative things could Jade have done to deal with her feelings of depression?

Taking an illegal drug is a risky thing to do, what other risky behaviours do you think are associated with taking illegal drugs?

Students could also take on a drawing exercise: Jade took 'Meow Meow' (mephodrone) which belongs to a type of drug called amphetamines. What effect do Amphetamines have on the body, and which parts of the body do they affect?

Students could be encouraged to evaluate the one thing they have learned from the clip, or one thing they would do differently if faced with a similar set of circumstances.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching the dangers of drug use in PSHE and Citizenship. This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC KS4/GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland and SQA National 4/5 in Scotland.

More from Drink & Drugs: My Story

Lorne's experience of smoking cannabis
Rose's experience of taking legal high drugs
Sam's experience of using ketamine
Alan's experience of drinking alcohol at 14
Anna's experience of drinking alcohol at 17
Emily's experience of drinking alcohol at 16
Jordan's experience of drinking alcohol at 16