A £6m pilot scheme to teach school children about the dangers of drugs is being launched.
The scheme will educate children at an early age
Pupils aged between 11 and 13 from 23 schools in Cheshire, Lancashire, and
Derbyshire are involved in the Home Office initiative.
The Blueprint Research Programme will educate both pupils and parents about drug issues.
Over two years youngsters will be assessed alongside children from six schools that have not taken part in the scheme.
Drugs minister Caroline Flint, launched the project on Thursday in Wilmslow, Cheshire.
She said: "This is the most significant research programme of its kind in this country.
"Blueprint is about equipping young people with life skills, and not preaching to them."
She said the scheme was about educating vulnerable children at an early age.
Blueprint will be run as a joint project with the government's Department of Education and Skills.
Schools minister Stephen Twigg said: "Young people can be exposed to drugs
from a very early age and Blueprint is a huge step forward in our work ensuring
that they fully understand what is out there and the associated risks."