Information for Professionals

Alongside the direct work with young people and support to families, The Young People's Drug & Alcohol Team offers support and advice to professionals working with Young People in St Helens on issues relating to substance misuse. 

What we do

St Helens YPDAAT provides specialist drug and alcohol support to young people aged up to 19 from the St Helens area. 

We offer the following services to young people:

  • Comprehensive Assessment
  • Individual care plan considering their needs, views and wishes
  • Psychosocial interventions
  • Awareness raising and education
  • Prescribing services
  • Harm Reduction
  • Support to reduce/become abstinent
  • Health assessment with a school nurse
  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy
  • Sexual Health interventions
  • Complementary therapies
  • Referrals/signposting
  • Flexible, friendly approach



Young people and families can self refer by contacting the service directly and speaking with a member of the team.  Any professional wanting to refer a young person into the service should discuss their concerns with the young person and their carers (as appropriate), and complete a Referral Form.  Referrals can only be made with the consent of the young person.  For more advice on when to refer or advice on completing the screening tool contact the team on 01744 675605 or ypdaat@sthelens.gov.uk. 


Support to Professionals

Most young people who try substances, or want more information on substances will not need to work directly with YPDAAT, so we offer training and advice to help you ensure that all young people in St Helens have access to credible, factual and reliable information to help them make informed choices. 



We offer a range of free training in conjunction with St Helens Safeguarding Children Board (SHSCB), specifically aimed at professionals working with young people and families in the St Helens area. 


Feedback from our training

"Very informative, with up - to - date information."

"Very knowledgeable on the subject, very clear and offered the opportunity to engage and ask questions"

"Excellent speakers, very informative, I enjoyed the training and would recommend it to my peers"


Upcoming Training

Sex Drugs & Risk Control - Updated for 2017!

Upcoming dates:
11/12 May 2017
25/26 September 2017
23/24 November 2017
22/23 February 2018

A two day training programme for practitioners working with young people vulnerable to risk taking behaviours; with a particular focus on sexual health and substance misuse; including up to date information on policy, practice and emerging trends.  

This revised programme has a greater focus on supporting practitioners to develop confidence in starting conversations around sensitive issues.  Over the 2 days, practitioners will engage with a range of activities to enhance their skills and knowledge to:
address issues of risk with young people
deliver preventative interventions,
ensure early identification of potential problematic behaviour.

Course objectives
•    Have a greater understanding of sexual health issues / substance use issues  relating to young people.
•    Have basic awareness of the legal context of substance use / sexual health.
•    Feel more confident in addressing issues around sexual health / substance misuse with young people.
•    Consider risk taking relating to young people’s substance misuse and sexual health choices and its presentation across the Safeguarding Continuum of Need.
•    Explore the importance of consent and confidentiality and its application when working with young people.
•    Recognise personal values and judgements and their impact when addressing sensitive issues

Target audience:
This programme is ideal for new members of staff, students and those who may require a refresher training including social workers, family support workers, youth workers, school and education staff, school nurses, mental health practitioners, supported housing providers.
To book a place:
St Helens Council delegates should use the online training booking portal, accessed from the Applications section on the Intranet home screen.
All other applicants can book by contacting Sue Draper (susandraper@sthelens.gov.uk) or telephone: 01744 676846


Hot Topics Breifings

Date Time Venue Session
30.5.17 10.30 - 12 Room 8 Town Hall Keep off the Grass - Young People and Cannabis use
22.6.17 2 -3.30 Room 8 Town Hall Boozed & Confused
19.7.17 9.30 - 12.30 Room 8 Town Hall Pills, Thrills and Spills - Party Drugs & New Psychoactive Substances
8.9.17 2 - 3.30 Room 8 Town Hall Fast & Furious  - Young People and Cocaine
9.10.17 1:30 - 4:30 Room 8 Town Hall Pills, Thrills and Spills - Party Drugs & New Psychoactive Substances
14.11.17 10-11.30 Room 8 Town Hall Keep off the Grass - Young People and Cannabis use
11.12.17 10 - 11.30 Room 8 Town Hall NEW - A Pill for Every Ill - Misuse of Over the counter/prescribed medication
18.1.18 2.30 - 4 Room 8 Town Hall Fast & Furious  - Young People and Cocaine
16.2.18 10 - 11.30 Room 8 Town Hall Boozed & Confused
8.3.17 2 - 3.30 Room 8 Town Hall Keep off the Grass - Young People and Cannabis use

Keep Off the Grass
A 90 minute briefing aimed at all professionals working with young people.  The session will focus on:
building knowledge around the nature and impacts of young people's cannabis use;
explore the harms cannabis use can cause; and
provide insight into the risks associated with Spice and other synthetic cannabinoids.
Pills, Thrills & Spills
An in depth look at the use and misuse of party drugs, with a specific focus on ecstasy, ketamine and New Psychoactive Substances (formerly known as Legal Highs).  
This session will dispel some of the myths surrounding NPS and explore the changing nature of young people's drug use, as well as  considering impacts of use on young people, and associated risks.
Fast & Furious
A 90 minute briefing focussed on cocaine use, considering the impacts on the brain, potential for addiction and health risks associated with use.

A Pill for Every Ill

A 90 minute session exploring the risks associated with misuse of over the counter and prescription medication, considering the tyeps of substances used, risks and effects of use and treatment options.

Boozed & Confused

Updated for 2017 - a 90 minute briefing exploring the impacts of young people's alcohol use, identifying reasons for use, impacts of excessive use on both the individual and society, and considering appropriate harm reduction messages. 

To book a place on any of the above courses, please email ypdaat@sthelens.gov.uk
Please note places are limited to 30 people for each of the above sessions.

Information Mornings:

To find out more about the role of YPDAAT, and our referral processes, why not attend one of our Information Mornings?  These are held on the last Wednesday of every month, at 10am.  To book one of these sessions contact YPDAAT on 01744 675605 or ypdaat@sthelens.gov.uk.    Alternatively we can provide in house training or breifings to your staff team.  Please complete our Group/Training Request Form and email it to ypdaat@sthelens.gov.uk, and a member of the team will contact you. 



If you have concerns about a young person you are working with, and would like to speak to a member of the team for advice, or support please contact us on 01744 675605 or ypdaat@sthelens.gov.uk


Group Work

YPDAAT offers a wide range of group sessions providing general or targeted information to groups of young people.  Some examples include awareness sessions with services such as Young Carers, the Youth Service, Youth Offending Service, Schools and Alternative Education Providers etc. 

Alongside bespoke sessions tailored to the needs of your groups, YPDAAT can offer a range of programmes focussed on improving resilience, a key factor in supporting young people to make heatlhy choices in the face of peer influence.

Life Matters is targeted at Key Stage 3 pupils to delay/prevent substance misuse, raise awareness and enhance resilience.  This programme can be tailored to meet the needs of other groups.  For more information download the course outline.

The Girls Group is a 6-week programme targetting young women, and inculding information on substance misuse, sexual health and CSE alongside relationships, body image and mindfullness. 

To request group work from the team, please complete our Group/Training Request Form and email it to ypdaat@sthelens.gov.uk.


Resources and Information

YPDAAT has a range or resources professionals can borrow to support delivery of drugs education to young people.  Contact us on 01744 67560 to arrange to borrow our resources and for ideas of activities you can deliver.  We also produce factsheets on a range of substances that can be used to enhance your own knowledge or given directly to young people.  Currently we have factsheets available on:

  • NOS (Laughing Gas)
  • Synthetic Cannabis
  • Ecstasy & 'Magic'

Please contact the team on ypdaat@sthelens.gov.uk to request copies.  We are working on creating more, so check back for updates, and contact us at ypdaat@sthelens.gov.uk with ideas of factsheets that you would find useful.