PLANS are in place to employ support staff in Renfrewshire’s primary schools to educate youngsters about the dangers of drink and drugs.

The move is being mooted as part of a £2million cash boost from Renfrewshire Council for its Alcohol and Drugs Commission.

Councillor Jacqueline Cameron, chair of the commission, said the extra funding will “make a difference.”

She added: “We want to focus on early intervention in schools, particularly in primary schools.

“We’d like to get some form of support staff in there who can talk to children about drugs before they get to high school.”

The commission was formed last year to explore new ways of tackling problems with addiction in communities by hearing from people who have lived-experience of substance use and their family members.

It was decided a specific focus on the issue was needed after it emerged there were 50 drug-related deaths in Renfrewshire during 2018 – the largest number recorded in the last decade.

The commission is expected to publish its final recommendations later this year.

These are expected to include the creation of a ‘recovery hub’ which would be open five days a week for people who are recovering from drug addiction.

The only existing club in the area is the Sunshine Recovery Cafe, in Paisley, which is open on Wednesday afternoons.

There are also discussions about training more council staff in the use of Naloxone, which is used on people who have overdosed to reverse the drug’s effects.

Councillor Cameron said: “We want to have a whole system approach, so that every part of the council, from education to housing, is thinking about how drugs and alcohol affect the residents of Renfrewshire.”

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