A NEW approach to educating children about the dangers of drugs will be officially launched tomorrow.

A board game puts players into various hypothetical situations and challenges them to deal with problems to highlight the perils of drug abuse.

The Joint Efforts game was developed by Lancashire County Council 12 months ago and has been piloted on a limited basis in schools across the county since then.

Following the official launch, education chiefs hope more schools will take it up, in Lancashire and across the country.

The board features a building such as a school, community centre or village hall, and the surrounding community for players to "travel" through.

Players move around the board and have to answer questions that look at ways of dealing with drug-related incidents.

County Councillor Dorothy Westell, who is responsible for the county's youth and community service, said: "This resource is all about awareness. It is important to increase the levels of drug awareness and teach people how to deal with any incidents they may find in everyday life.

"Joint Efforts allows serious drug policy information to be given across in a creative and participatory way. The response so far has been very positive."

Coun Westell will launch the game with Darwen and Rossendale MP Janet Anderson at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel, Clayton-le-Moors, as part of the Lancashire drug action team education strategy.

The game was initially developed for use in the youth and community service but has been extended to be used in schools.

Around 160 teachers have been trained to use the game which is part of the secondary school personal, social and health education programme for 13-15 year olds.