May 21 2013 Latest news:
Monday, March 5, 2012
Pop star Amy Winehouse might still be alive if she had been educated about drugs, her father Mitch said ahead of attending the launch of a campaign to make such lessons compulsory in schools.
An e-petition calling for effective drugs education to be part of the National Curriculum has been added to the government’s website.
The campaign, supported by the Amy Winehouse Foundation, wants approved drugs education and a separate drugs department, similar to that in France.
The petition has been created by Maryon Stewart and Vicky Unwin, who both lost daughters as a result of drug use.
Both are senior figures in the Angelus Foundation - which campaigns to highlight the dangers of “legal highs”, including alcohol.
E-petitions can be considered for debate in Parliament if they get more than 100,000 signatures.
The petition says many legal highs and so-called club drugs are widely consumed by young people who regard them as safe because many are legal.
Mr Winehouse, 61, said: “We’ll save hundreds of thousands of kids if we can do this.
“It’s a disgrace that our children don’t have drug education. It’s preposterous.”
He added: “We’ll be saving future generations from a life of hell.”
Mr Winehouse recently visited a rehabilitation clinic where a former addict spoke about the consequences of drugs with people currently battling the problem.
He believes that this method of educating youngsters can be effective and claimed that Amy, and the daughters of Ms Stewart and Ms Unwin, might still be alive if they had attended similar sessions.
He said: “I wish that my daughter had had that kind of drug education when she was in her formative years.
“I think that had they had that education there’s a good chance that all three of them would still be here today.”
Amy Winehouse was found dead in bed in her Camden flat in north London in July last year.
The singer battled with a drink and drugs problem during her life prompting her father to set up the Amy Winehouse Foundation to help vulnerable youngsters in her memory.
A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “All pupils should have high quality lessons to deal with the dangers of drug abuse. Schools have a legal responsibility to promote pupils’ wellbeing - which should include setting out a clear drugs policy to prevent substance misuse.”