Programs that engage primary and secondary school pupils, along with their parents, teachers and other influential adults play an important role in preventing alcohol and other drug harms in young people.
The ADF’s Community Hub has a range of research-informed information on how to work with local schools, what works and what doesn't, as well as where to find help for these programs.
Drug education in schools is all about influencing student values, attitudes and skills, so they can make healthier decisions about alcohol and other drugs.
In primary school, the focus is on building life skills and resilience.
Projects in secondary school should work to further strengthen these areas while providing more detailed information about illegal and legal drugs.
It’s also important to think about who you’re trying to educate.
As explained in our Education In Schools toolkit, while your program might look to reach the students themselves it can also inform parents, teachers and school staff.
These people can have a huge influence on the young people you’re trying to educate, so it’s important to involve them if possible.
Effective projects are the ones that equip students with accurate information.
Programs should encourage students to look beyond the idea that when it comes to alcohol and other drugs, ‘everyone else is doing it’.
The truth is they’re not, and overall rates of alcohol and other drug use are in decline.
As stated in our Education In Schools toolkit, these projects need to be based around the principles of ‘effective practice’.
These projects vary in execution, but have the following traits:
Download the Education in Schools toolkit for a full breakdown.
Alcohol and other drug education in schools has been shown to be unsuccessful when it steers away from ‘effective practice’.
Here are some approaches you should seek to avoid:
The Community Hub offers a number of helpful resources for programs to engage schools in alcohol and other drug education.
School is a major part of a young person’s life and one of the best opportunities to reach young people with information about the risks of alcohol and other drugs.
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s new Community Hub is packed with free and easy to follow resources to help you connect with your community to implement a Drug Education in Schools program.
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