In what proved to be an incredibly insightful talk, Asha Fowells from the DSM Foundation guided the Sixth Form through a broad explanation of the effects and risks of drug and alcohol usage, ranging from basic laws to the teenage brain and peer pressure.
The story underpinning the DSM Foundation left the audience in shock. The Foundation was set up in January 2014 by Tim and Fiona Spargo-Mabbs in response to the death of their 16-year-old son Daniel having taken ecstasy. Dan’s relatability urged us all to take a step back and reflect on our own choices, reminding us that even a split-second decision can lead to devastating impacts. Asha placed particular emphasis on the fact that our individual reactions to drugs vary immensely. Whether it be due to underlying health conditions, or simply a lack of food or water on the night, the way in which our body responds to foreign substances is unpredictable.
Another video clip, revealing the unregulated and unsanitary conditions of the drug-making process, explained why certain drugs may be mild, while others have a lethal potency: a risk not worth taking. Asha also ensured that the discussion was particularly relevant to our age group, and we discussed various ways to stay safe when attending events like festivals and raves. For example, the ‘St John’s ambulance’ app provides easy access to emergency services and ‘What3Words’ allows you to pinpoint any location.
Every member of the audience left the room equipped with a deeper understanding of how and why these substances can prove to be so dangerous, as well as simple strategies we can implement to protect ourselves in vulnerable situations.
Review by Zara B (U6)
About the DSM Foundation
The Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation is a drug and alcohol education charity that aims to support young people to make safe choices about drugs and alcohol and reduce harm. We do this through increasing understanding of the effects and risks, and helping to develop life skills and resilience.