Young people are exposed to drugs in a variety of ways every day, through the media, society, home or peer groups. Equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed choices, is essential to their health and wellbeing.
Drug education for all students from Kindergarten to Year 10 is included in the mandatory Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) curriculum. It is taught within the broader context of personal health choices, positive relationships, and individual and community health.
A whole of school approach towards drug education is crucial in effective education programs for young people. Additionally the engagement of expertise in the local community, such as police youth liaison and other services, can enhance the quality of the program. To ensure messages are reinforced outside of school, parent education programs should complement school drug education programs.
In the mandatory K–6 PDHPE Syllabus students learn to:
- gather accurate information about drugs from reliable sources
- demonstrate assertive responses to protect themselves from drug related harm
- devise questions to analyse media messages relating to drug products eg: tobacco and alcohol, and identify how and why males and females are targeted in a range of advertisements eg: advertising of alcoholic products
- present information regarding health issues eg: the effects of alcohol
- justify why they refuse offers from peers eg: cigarettes
- predict the consequences of their choices, eg: use of tobacco and alcohol
- devise strategies to reduce the negative impact of alcohol and tobacco on society
- formulate and practice action plans for emergency situations eg: drug-related incidents
- analyse the effect of actions that enhance or disrupt relationships eg: drug use
- develop and maintain a personal network of trusted adults who could provide advice and support.
In the mandatory 7–10 PDHPE Syllabus students learn to:
- describe factors that influence their sense of self that are interdependent and can become increasingly significant at different life stages
- describe the current challenges that may face young people and predict future challenges
- identify people and services that provide support
- develop strategies to recognise and respond to risk and how to seek and access support
- analyse influences and reasons why people choose to use or not use drugs
- describe the short and long term effects and consequences of legal and illegal drug use on individuals and the community
- explore the relationship between the person, drug and the environment in determining the impact of drug use
- describe strategies to minimise harm in a variety of contexts eg: feeling depressed, at a party, being offered drugs
- identify situations in which forms of abuse may occur and suggest protective strategies eg: at a party
- examine the consequences of alcohol use on individuals and the community
- investigate marketing strategies and media influences associated with tobacco and alcohol
- recognise potentially unsafe situations and develop plans to keep themselves and others safe
- manage basic first aid in a variety of situations
- empower individuals to make positive health choices.
For more information relating to drug education, visit the following websites:
For more information, contact:
(02) 9367 8150