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May 6, 2016

DRUG EDUCATION YET TO MATCH GREAT EXPECTATIONS

The UK-based Drug and Alcohol Findings website has published a review of recent school alcohol and other drug education programs.  The article, titled "Drug education yet to match great (preventive) expectations" describes the evaluation of the UK "Blueprint" school drug education program, and Europe's seven-nation "EU-Dap" program.  The "Blueprint" program utilised advanced interactive teaching methods combined with parental and community-wide components, yet at the end of the study period the program had achieved similar results to the control group of schools, who implemented their usual lessons.  The "EU-Dap" program used a social influence approach, but the results were modest and usually statistically insignificant when compared with control schools.


Go to "Drug education yet to match great (preventive) expectations"

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January 28, 2016

ALCOHOL EDUCATION FOR AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS

The National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) at Flinders University has recently undertaken a major systematic review of research on alcohol education programs in secondary schools. Many programs have been developed over the years but only a small number have been evaluated, and of these very few show evidence of effectiveness. Out of a total of 39 programs reviewed, only 3 were found to have good evidence of effectiveness.

Read more here

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November 4, 2015

"WE DON'T GET TAUGHT ENOUGH" AN ASSESSMENT OF DRUG EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS IN ENGLAND

The findings from Mentor's recent work on school-based alcohol and drug education have been published by the peer-reviewed international journal, Drugs and Alcohol Today. The paper presents findings from the London Youth Involvement Project and the Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service (ADEPIS). This research provides an insight in to the current provision of drug education in schools with implications for national policy and practice.

Read more about the paper here

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September 11, 2015

SCHOOL-BASED ALCOHOL HARM REDUCTION PROGRAM REDUCES ALCOHOL USE

The UK-based "Findings" website has published an overview and commentary of a paper published in 2014 in the Journal of Adolescence, which evaluated the Australian "School Health and Alcohol Harm Reduction Project (SHAHRP)" as it was trialled in Northern Ireland.  Similar to the results seen in the Australian trial, the authors of the study found that SHAHRP had a  positive effect on knowledge and attitudes about alcohol, with reductions in alcohol consumption in those young people considered most at risk: those who had already consumed alcohol without adults present.  The effect was strongest and most persistent in classes that were delivered by the school's' usual teachers, rather than external educators.

Read more about this study at Drug and Alcohol Findings.

Find out more information about SHAHRP here.

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May 15, 2015

WHAT CAN PARENTS AND SCHOOLS DO TO PREVENT AOD HARMS?

The Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use at the UNSW is hosting a free webinar on Tuesday 19th of May at 2pm AEST on the topic of "Drug and alcohol use among young people: What can parents and schools do to prevent the harms?"  Dr Nicola Newton and Dr Lexine Stapinski will present the latest research on substance use in young people and it will provide an overview of the research evidence into the effective interventions.  they will also provide access to tools and resources that have been shown to be effective at reducing harm.

Click here to register for this webinar or to find out more information.

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March 27, 2015

NEW RESOURCES FROM THE BLACK DOG INSTITUTE

The Black Dog Institute developed "Head Strong" a while back.  This free curriculum resource for teachers covered a range of issues and since then they've added some new resources for young people and the people who work with them.  "Mind Strength" is an online course for 14 - 16 years olds designed to develop resilience.  For workers, the "Building resilience in young people" package shows ways to support young people in building resilience, while "Navigating teenage depression" provides an overview of this common mental health concern.

Find out more at the Headstrong website.

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March 6, 2015

PREVENTING SUBSTANCE USE WITHOUT MENTIONING DRUGS

The UK-based "Drug and Alcohol Findings" has published an excellent article titled "It's Magic: Prevent substance use problems without mentioning drugs".  The article brings together a wide range of research into school-based drug prevention programs, which shows that "schools which develop supportive, engaging and inclusive cultures, and which offer opportunities to participate in school decision-making and extracurricular activities, create better outcomes across many domains, including non-normative substance use."  The authors draw on diverse research including the "Good Behaviour Game" classroom management technique, which was found to reduce alcohol use disorders from 20% to 13% amongst boys, despite not specifically addressing alcohol use.

Read "It's Magic: Prevent substance use problems without mentioning drugs".

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February 13, 2015

WELLBEING PROGRAMS IN SCHOOLS: MORE HARM THAN GOOD?

Professor Kathryn Ecclestone from the University of Sheffield has published a challenging article on The Conversation titled "Well-being programs in schools might be doing more harm than good".  Professor Ecclestone describes the increase in programs delivered in school settings that aim to improve resilience and reduce mental health problems. Professor Ecclestone states that the positive claims about these programs "often come from those with vested interests in a lucrative market of expensive, externally delivered programmes for pupils and students, training courses for teachers and classroom assistants, and endless "how-to" guides for teachers and parents."  Professor Ecclestone has been researching the effects of these types of programs, and has found evidence that some of these programs may actually have negative effects on student wellbeing.

Go to "Well-being programs in schools might be doing more harm than good"

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January 30, 2015

NEW AOD EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR QUEENSLAND SCHOOLS

Students returned back to school across Queensland this week, and so it is timely to remind everyone about the new Alcohol and other drugs education program that is being rolled out across the state for students in Years 7 - 12.  An initiative of the Safe Night Out Strategy and developed by the Department of Education, Training and Employment, the program is designed to support students to develop a greater awareness and understanding of the impacts of alcohol and other drug use; their capacity to make responsible, safe and informed decisions and their ability to effectively manage challenging situations.  The program is built into 5 one-hour sessions for each year level and includes a suite of teacher guidelines and resources.  It is compulsory for state schools and available and recommended for use by all private and independent schools across Queensland.  This is the first time that Queensland has had such a comprehensive school based AOD curriculum so we urge youth / AOD workers and services to engage with their local school communities wherever possible to offer support any issues that may arise for staff or students as this program is rolled out.

 

For more information visit the the department's website here or download the factsheet.

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November 7, 2014

SUPPORT IN TOUGH TIMES: ENCOURAGING YOUNG PEOPLE TO SEEK HELP FOR THEIR FRIENDS

The NSW Commission for Children and Young People in conjunction with the NSW Mental Health Commission have published research report titled "Support in tough times: Encouraging young people to seek help for their friends."  The report looks at the barriers and supports to young people seeking adult help for a friend experiencing mental health problems.  The research involved online surveys of 3241 school aged young people and a survey of 89 principals.  About two thirds of the students surveyed knew someone who had experienced a mental health problem, and most of these students indicated that they would support a friend in a range of ways.  Almost one third of participants stated that they did not know a suitable adult who they could go to in order to get help for a friend.

Download "Support in tough times: Encouraging young people to seek help for their friends" (3.1MB PDF)

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