When I was a student. I spent a year working in street-based drugs project. What an eye-opener that was!
Anyone seeking to help troubled young people is going to come across the drugs issue sooner or later.
Are you ready for it? How much do you know?
Here’s a way you can have great information at your finger tips…
The KnowDrugs App…
After a year working with people who use drugs, I knew a fair bit. It was a great grounding, both in terms of knowledge and in values.
Recently, I discovered that my knowledge had a “sell by” date…
My teenage son asked me a question related to drugs. I stumbled over the answer. My knowledge was long out of date!
So, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be glad of a good source of up to date information. I have just the app for you!
KnowDrugs provides easy-to-access, useful information and advice about the important issues around young people’s drug use. Here’s what the website says:
There are three sections to the app:
1. A-Z Drugs Guide:
This has three subsections: an A-Z list of drugs, an A-Z list of drugs using street names (slang) and a glossary of street drug terms. The two A-Z sections are cross-referenced, comprehensive and give great information in plain language. Each drug has a short paragraph on:
- Name of the drug or drug group, along with a photo and a short information video
- Street names
- How is it used
- What young people may have heard about it – some of the street-myths surrounding each drug
- Risks – a more objective summary of what a drug really does
- Signs of use
- Paraphernalia used
The video clips of each drug are presented using input from users – this is unsensational and appropriate, as well as useful.
2. FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):
TV and film actress, Nicola Reynolds, presents these advice videos, these are short (around 30 seconds) and helpful. The videos cover the following areas:
- Why do some young people use drugs?
- What are the dangers?
- How should I talk to my teenager about drugs?
- How can i recognise the signs of drug use?
- My teenager is using drugs – what should i do?
Under each of these 5 question categories there are between 5 and 8 other questions, each with a video response.
This isn’t the usual list of phone numbers that appear inmost apps. There is a video showing the basic first aid that might be required.
Three videos showing you:
- How to check if someone is breathing
- If they aren’t – how to do chest compressions and emergency breaths
- If they are – How to put someone in the recovery position
I really like the raw practicality of this section. It gives you what you need to know – no nonesense.
The app is called KnowDrugs on the icon, but has the words “Parents Guide” as a strapline. The lack of an apostrophe in “Parents’ Guide” isn’t the only fault here :0). This app would be brilliant for young people; I just hope the strapline doesn’t put them off…
The other draw back is that KnowDrugs is an iPhone and iPad app – to my knowledge there isn’t an Android version yet.
Here’s a video about the app to give you a taster…
Find the download instructions and a link for iTunes here.
Of all the apps covered so far in this series, this is the first one that has a cost attached. That said, I reckon it’s very well worth the £1.49 price tag.
My son inherits my old iPhone this week. I shall be paying for and installing this app on it, right away.
There is another app planned for the KnowDrugs stable – KnowDrugs, The Professionals Guide. If it’s anything like this one, it’ll be well worth having – watch this space!
- What benefits have you found in technology? How has this helped the young people you know and/or work with?
Please let me know – join the conversation by leaving a comment below or by clicking here.
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© Jonny Matthew 2014
Acknowledgement: Some material and images in this post is taken directly from the KnowDrugs website – with thanks!