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Schools to dump ‘just say no' program on drugs

  1. Docta
    AUSTRALIA: THE state's secondary schools will dump their "just say no" approach to drug and alcohol education as part of a radical new attack on teen boozing and drug taking.

    Students will practise first aid for overdoses, pour standard drinks, and study drug-free ways to achieve a "high", in a new curriculum.

    The Government will roll out the program, for year 8 and 9 students, this year after a successful three-year trial in 21 Victorian schools.

    The award-winning trial found that teaching teenagers about alcohol - rather than demanding abstinence - was the most effective way of cutting binge drinking rates.

    And it is believed the same tactics will work for drug use and other risk-taking behaviour.

    "This marks a major departure from the 'just say no' practices of the past," Education Minister Martin Dixon said.

    "The program is based on the most up to date, evidence-based research and is focused on building resilience in young people so they can make informed and safe decisions," the Education Minister said.
    The trial, conducted by the Education Department and two universities, found lessons focusing on "harm reduction" - instead of strict "abstinence" from alcohol - had more success cutting excessive drinking rates by teens.

    While the number of students initially experimenting with alcohol did not change, "risky" levels of drinking decreased, along with the number of teenagers actively "planning to get drunk".

    Students involved in the trial were also more likely to discuss alcohol and drugs with their parents.

    "This was achieved even though the students were not persuaded against taking up drinking," according to the trial summary.

    "Abstinence and reduced use have been the criteria for success and . . . the approach as a whole has not been successful in meeting these goals".

    Mr Dixon has rubber-stamped the trial curriculum - 18 classes dedicated to drug and alcohol education in years 8 and 9 - for all Victorian public schools.

    "Victoria is leading the way when it comes to creating drug education programs that have a real and positive impact on students," he said.

    The classes will also include lessons on "standing up for yourself" and "refusal skills".

    The program was recognised for "excellence in prevention and community education" at last month's National Drug and Alcohol Awards, sponsored by groups including the Australian Drug Foundation and the Australian National Council on Drugs.

    The researchers plan to keep in touch with the 1750 students involved in the trial, to monitor the effect of the "harm minimisation" lessons.



  1. George9617
    Very cool, i hope my kids will have this when they are in middle or high school. Good to see some good in the world. I think the US could Learn a thing, this is the best for every country.
  2. Reuq
    Hopefully if the program is successful other countries will follow suit. I can't help but be reminded of the sex education in schools argument though... no matter how well its proved to work people still don't seem to want their children to actually learn about sex or drugs.
  3. DiphForTheMasses
    Well, in fairness, I feel it's up to the parent to teach their own kids about these things how they see fit, not some school. But if a school is going to teach students about drugs, this beats "just say no" by a mile.
  4. makin
    The schools in the US teach just tell on your pot smoking parent.

    Lets hope the US can learn, they won't be able too though. Where do think the world got the "just say no" campaign..to start with.....and it has been proven useless time and time again. I was reading about the failures of "just say no" at least 10 years ago.

    I don't think any parent wants their kid getting mixed up in drugs and alcohol, however responsible parents have learned that you don't always get what you want. Teach the truth to your kids and let them decide. Telling a bunch of half truth and lies is the best way to fuck up any kids future.
  5. Vico-man
    I think harm prevention is more usefull than preaching to kids that drugs are bad. People are going to use drugs until the end of time, So its better to just deal with it and teach kids to be safe with drugs and alcohol.
  6. oceansurf
    Sounds like a great idea, this kind of thing will make the teachers and education seem somewhat more like it’s going with what’s going on and going to happen kind of thing. It might just sink in with the younger ones and show that the in the end it’s all up to how you treat the circumstance. Drugs education still has a long way to go but this surely is progress.
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