Harmony school program works to address alcohol and drug abuse

A pioneering approach to alcohol and drug education that uses pop music videos was recently launched in the Patrician Presentation Secondary School in Fethard to the Second and Transition Year students.

A pioneering approach to alcohol and drug education that uses pop music videos was recently launched in the Patrician Presentation Secondary School in Fethard to the Second and Transition Year students.

Shortlisted for the Social Entrepreneur of Ireland Awards 2013 and endorsed by the HSE, The Harmony Program one-day workshops used evidence-based music therapy with the music, lyrics and performance of many artists who have experienced addiction or written about the subject.

The program helps identify whether children are at risk of developing alcohol or drug addiction. Artists used include Amy Winehouse, Eminem, Ed Sheeran and the recent multi-Grammy award winners Macklemore & Ryan.

The Harmony Program is run by Roger Mehta from Clonmel who has studied and worked in the music industry and substance misuse field for many years.

“For many years a lot of rock or rap music has glorified drug taking, seducing young people into thinking its all just a bit of fun,” Roger said.

“The Harmony Program shows the realities and consequences of misusing drugs or alcohol by rock and rap artists who young people identify with and look up to.”

Roger, who has run many workshops through the Tipperary Regional Youth Service (TRYS), Garda Youth Diversion Projects and is currently running the program in The Aislinn Adolescent Treatment Centre in Kilkenny, is hoping to bring The Harmony Program to more young people.

For more information call 052 61 4 8124, 086 819 4132 or see theharmonyprogram.com .