Information for Professionals

Information designed to assist professionals working with young people vulnerable to substance misuse, to access information to help you in your work.

A young person may have informed you or a child's parent may come to you for support around their child's drug and alcohol use. What will you do?

You don't have to be an expert in drugs and alcohol to support the young people you come into contact with. Completion of a Drug Use Screening Tool will help you identify whether to refer a young person on for specialist treatment.

The most important thing is to be able to listen to what the young person has to say. Be non-judgemental and give advice based on facts not thoughts. You may not be able to stop a young person 'experimenting'. You can however, ensure they know the consequences to their actions by providing sound information and advice.

You are in a position to observe any changes that take place with the young person as you will see them on a regular basis within your field of work.

This observation could identify improvements in behaviour but also a decline. If there is a decline, this is an opportunity for you to revisit the Drug Use Screening Tool with the young person.

If you are unsure what to do in relation to a young person's substance misuse, contact the specialist service for information and advice. In Bournemouth, Young Addaction manage this service.

Young Addaction can be contacted on 01202 558855.

There are useful web resources that contact helpful information, such as Talk to Frank

Further information about the DUST - Drug Use Screening Tool for Young People

The Drug Use Screening Tool (DUST) has been designed in line with nationally recognised research. It enables practitioners to screen young people for substance misuse and refer them to the relevant support services.

National recommended practice recognises that:

  • All Agencies should screen young people for alcohol and drug use;
  • To identify those who may need more comprehensive assessment or ongoing support;
  • The screening process should be short;
  • The screening tool should be simple;
  • Training should be provided.

Is it my role to ask young people about drugs and alcohol? 

Yes it is:

  • If you work with vulnerable young people
  • If a young person identifies substance use or misuse to you
  • If you have concerns about a young persons’ use of substances

You are in the best position to help

How do I fill DUST in?

  • Face to face exercise with a young person
  • Using a combination of notes and knowledge, and by asking relevant questions from DUST
  • It doesn’t have to be completed in one session
  • Use the dedicated Consultancy line from ART (Access to Resources Team)

Gentle reminder to staff completing this form

The form will need to be password protected when forwarding to ART by email. This is in accordance with data security and confidentially guidance (or sent via secure email).

Once you have emailed the form, telephone ART to advise of the password that you have used to enable access.

An electronic DUST form has been designed for practitioners to use when working with young people. Practitioners should have attended a training session to before using the form.

If you are a practitioner in the Bournemouth area and want to enquire about DUST training, telephone: 01202 458705.

Download E-DUST.


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