Substance Use Policy
For the purpose of this policy it is important to state that ‘a drug is any chemical which alters how the body works, or how the person behaves or feels. This may include either a legal or illegal substance’.
This policy applies to students, teachers, parents and any others using the school building. It applies during school-times (including break-times) and to all school related activities.
This policy exists to provide a safe and secure environment for learning and to offer supports for those experiencing difficulties.
This policy is necessary given that exposure to alcohol, tobacco and drugs is part of reality. SETNS aims to promote the social and personal development of students and provide health education for them.
The content of this policy is divided into 3 areas which include:
- Education concerning substance use;
- Management of alcohol, tobacco and drug related incidents;
- Provision for training and staff development.
Education Concerning Substance Use
- SETNS will provide education concerning substance use through the SPHE Programme (Social, Personal & Health Education). This will be provided by teachers.
- SETNS will draw on the expertise of local community-based services in the provision of education concerning substance use. This will be done in consultation with teachers, parents and the Board of Management.
Management of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Related Incidents
Incidents involving alcohol, tobacco and drug use might include:
- Use or suspected use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs on the school premises or during school related activities;
- Intoxication / Unusual Behaviour;
- Disclosure about use;
- Finding substances and/or associated paraphernalia;
- Possession and/or supply on the school premises or during school related activities.
SETNS will respond to incidents in a caring as well as a disciplinary way. The school will make referrals to relevant agencies, where necessary, and deal with individual cases as they arise.
When incidents come to the attention of teachers, they will report them directly to the Principal/Deputy Principal, who in turn will seek advice/make decisions on the best course of action to take in the best interest of the child. This may, in some cases, require involving the local Gardai or other relevant agencies. However, parents will be fully informed in all matters relating to their child/children.
Should the media become involved in cases relating to the school, the Principal will respond in consultation with the Board of Management.
Provision for Training & Staff Development
All staff of SETNS will be aware of and sensitive to the signs and symptoms of substance misuse. Staff will be aware of the laws relating to alcohol, tobacco and drug use and how they relate to themselves, the school and the students.
As training needs arise from staff, these will be addressed and responded to adequately.
It is the role of the Principal to ensure staff training needs are met.