AN initiative aimed at helping parents steer their children away from drug and alcohol misuse gets under way in Bideford this month. Parents are being offered support in their efforts at a How to Drug Proof Your Kids course at the Wings Hall in Lower Medd

AN initiative aimed at helping parents steer their children away from drug and alcohol misuse gets under way in Bideford this month.Parents are being offered support in their efforts at a How to Drug Proof Your Kids course at the Wings Hall in Lower Meddon Street. It runs for six weeks from February 26.Local Police Inspector Roger Bartlett heads up the team of trained volunteers who will present the programme, which is aimed at:n teaching parents about drug and alcohol misuse;n how to better communicate with their children about it; and n how they can encourage their children to make good choices and deal with unhealthy influences such as peer pressure.Inspector Bartlett said: "While North Devon does have its problems with illegal drugs, many parents tell us that alcohol is their biggest concern. Many people don't consider alcohol to be a drug, but we hear a lot about the binge drinking culture we have in the UK and the fact that our cells and accident and emergency departments are full most weekends reflects some of the damage alcohol misuse can cause." Fellow presenter Hilary Pierce said: "A parent is the most important influence on a child's life and while it is impossible to provide any guarantees that a child will never misuse drugs or alcohol, parents can make a significant difference. This course helps parents do just that and those who have done it tell us they found it really helpful and enjoyable."The DPYK North Devon team has already linked with Braunton, Park and West Buckland Schools to run courses there and have now linked with Bideford College to deliver this course. It is open to any parent, costs £15 and bookings can be made on (01271) 336271 or via email on admin@dpyknorthdevon.co.uk