Mitch Winehouse, father of renowned singer Amy Winehouse, who tragically died from alcohol poisoning in 2011, has voiced his concerns that young people are given insufficient education on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.

Mr Winehouse stated that the current education system ‘misunderstands the reasons people turn to drink and drugs in the first place’.

In a recent interview on BBC News, Mr Winehouse highlighted the importance of young people being given information and help on self-image, self-esteem, bullying and eating disorders; the common reasons behind young people turning to substance abuse.

His words came at the launch of a new programme that supports and informs pupils, parents and teachers on drug and alcohol issues:  The Amy Winehouse Foundation Resilience Programme – The drug and alcohol awareness programme for schools. The programme has been set up in conjunction with respected treatment charity Addaction.

To further support Mr Winehouse’s claims, the Amy Winehouse Foundation and Addaction polled over 4000 people in the UK on drug and alcohol issues. The survey found that:

  • 84% of respondents with school aged children (5-15yrs) believe that drugs and alcohol are a serious problem.
  • Only 33% of respondents believed that schools provide adequate education to children and young people around drugs and alcohol.
  • Only 33% of respondents believe the government is doing enough to tackle underage drinking and illegal drug use.

Addaction’s Chief Executive Simon Antrobus said that, over the past five years, the charity has seen a 25% increase in the number of young people seeking help for drug and alcohol problems. He said:

‘Every day at Addaction, we see people who’ve turned to drugs or drink to help deal with a personal problem. That’s why this new programme is so important. It doesn’t ‘just say no’ – it also looks at ‘why’.

The Winehouse family launched the Amy Winehouse Foundation on September 14th 2011, on what would have been Amy’s 28th birthday. The aim was to prevent the effects of substance abuse in young people by supporting and informing the disadvantaged and vulnerable. The Foundation supports and funds reputable charitable organisations that make a remarkable difference in this area.

For more information on the Amy Winehouse Foundation visit: http://www.amywinehousefoundation.org/