Monday 22 July 2019

Leaving cert students examine attitudes towards addiction

Enniscorthy Vocational College students who did a Leaving Cert Applied project on Addiction
Enniscorthy Vocational College students who did a Leaving Cert Applied project on Addiction

Pádraig Byrne

With addiction being an issue that affects so many homes around Ireland, Leaving Cert students at Enniscorthy Vocational College decided to examine its scopes, effects and public attitudes towards addiction as part of their Social Education Task for the Leaving Cert Applied Programme.

In late September, the students began their research, taking a lead role themselves in deciding upon the topic, as well as negotiating with their tutor on the individual aspects of addition they would examine.

As part of their research, each student researched ten pieces of information on their subject and completed a representative survey on their particular focus.

These surveys returned some fascinating results, giving a good indication of public attitudes to the wider questions surrounding addiction. A total of 12 different aspects were explored including addictions to gambling, drugs and prescription medications. They also examined the relationship between addiction and the prevalent issue of homelessness in Ireland today.

The surveys examined general attitudes to these topics as well as the responsibility of government and people themselves to solving them. One student discovered that 60% of those surveyed would oppose the building of a drug treatment centre in the town. Another student's research highlighted little public awareness of what constituted binge drinking in terms of units with only quarter of those surveyed knowing it was 6 units.

A third of those surveyed by another student believed that the National Lottery should put a warning band on all their products to make people aware of the dangers of lottery style gambling, while 15% of those surveyed on the connection between homelessness and addiction, felt like the latter was the main cause of the former.

To raise awareness in relation to some of these issues, the class produced a video on site at the school for YouTube with an emphasis on recovery from addiction.

The group's work has gained some great traction since and will contribute up to 10% of their final Leaving Cert mark.

Enniscorthy Guardian