Don’t call drugs ‘risky’ because that’s too judgmental, says Britain’s top doctor (En)
Professor Dame Sally Davies said that young people had expressed the concern that behaviour that was dubbed risky when they did it was commonplace among adults.
terms would not
th campaigns frequently urge restraint when it comes to activities that could affect the health of youngsters.
But Professor Davies insisted that changing the terms would not encourage children to experiment, but offer chances for health professionals to make such behaviour appear less risky and perhaps less appealing to those tempted to experiment.
This could be achieved, for example, by recommending the use of condoms during sex to avoid pregnancy and infections.
However, the National Institute for Care and Excellence – which advises on how public health campaigns on smoking, unprotected sex and binge drinking should be delivered – said those covering on ‘risky behaviour’ such as smoking need to scare an audience as well as soothe them in order to get people to take care of their health.
NICE also advises that ‘threatening’ and ‘supportive’ styles of delivery are the best way to get a message across about ‘risky behaviour’.
However, Professor Davies said that a non-judgmental term would result in conversations with health professionals ‘so they are able to say no’.
She suggested that school nurses could play a crucial role, because young people trusted them. But she warned about the lack of them, saying one nurse for every 6,000 children was not enough.