Old Boy Explains Effects of Drug Abuse
Monday, 05 February 2018
Old Boy Richard Garland returned to the Boys’ Division to talk to students in Year 13 about drugs and how they impact people’s lives. Richard has been a police officer for 25 years, has worked on drug investigations with organisations such as the UK Border Agency and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), and has also been involved with numerous local prosecutions over the years. He is therefore perfectly placed to talk to students about the effects of drugs.
In particular Richard focused on the way drugs affect the mental health and lifestyle of users. He showed a video about the way drugs work on the brain, which was particularly enlightening. He went on to discuss the various different ways drugs can impact mental health, causing paranoia, anxiety, stress, depression, schizophrenia and psychosis, and the further impact this has had on treating drug users. In terms of lifestyle, he talked about drug users entering “another world” where there are no rules, increased violence, no true friends, and people become strangers to their own families. He also discussed with students some of the situations that drug users, and their family members or friends, might find themselves in as a result.
Richard asked questions throughout his talk and encouraged the audience to respond and interact. The Year 13 students listened to the often difficult subject matter with maturity throughout.
During the same afternoon, Boys’ Division pupils in lower year groups took part in a variety of activities as part of the SPACE Programme, which puts curriculum enrichment on the timetable every two weeks. At the start of the Spring Term, pupils choose their own activity from the selection on offer to enjoy for three SPACE sessions. Among the options were practical special effect make-up, introductory language lessons in Welsh, Mandarin and Italian, dissection, cookery, astronomy, yoga, karting, cribbage and bell ringing.
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