Summary

  • Alcohol and other drug education programs aim to delay or prevent people from starting to use alcohol and other drugs.
  • For people who are already using alcohol and other drugs and find it hard to stop, education programs aim to help them to use less in order to cause less harm to themselves.
  • Alcohol and other drug education programs for school children aim to help them to make good decisions for themselves, such as saying no to alcohol and other drugs. 
  • The Department of Education and Training has developed alcohol and other drugs education programs for children in primary and secondary school.
  • Adult alcohol and other drug education programs promote responsible drinking behaviour and teach people about the dangers of certain drugs.
  • Some education programs target specific types of people or places.

Alcohol and other drug education programs aim to educate people about alcohol and other drug use, in the hope that this will:

  • dissuade them from using alcohol or other drugs
  • delay their use of alcohol or other drugs
  • reduce their use of alcohol or other drugs.

Alcohol and other drug education programs for school-aged children

In school-aged children, alcohol and other drug education programs are usually focussed on developing resilience and good decision-making skills. They aim to delay alcohol use and prevent the use of illicit drugs. Some strategies also target parents to role model responsible drinking behaviours, and guide parents on how to talk to their children about the dangers of alcohol and drugs. 

The Department of Education and Training has a number of age-appropriate programs delivered by teachers to children in high school and primary school about the harm associated with alcohol and other drug use. 

Generally speaking, in school-aged children, drug education is focussed on broad drug awareness messages, rather than on specific illicit drugs.

Alcohol and other drug education programs for young adults and others

Once people are of legal drinking age, alcohol education programs focus on: 

  • responsible drinking behaviour
  • promoting healthier cultural approaches to alcohol.

They may also encourage people to reduce the amount of alcohol they consume on a regular basis to reduce the chance of alcohol dependence and longer term health problems. 

For information and resources to help you make decisions about your drinking visit SayWhen.

When it comes to illegal drugs or the misuse of pharmaceutical medications, education programs aim to increase people’s awareness of the dangers associated with specific drugs. This can include short-term risks such as overdose or longer-term issues associated with dependence or injecting drug use.

Some alcohol and other drug education programs are targeted at specific population groups or locations where risky or harmful drinking can occur, such as:

  • Good Sports (Australian Drug Foundation) which aims to improve the way alcohol is managed at sporting clubs
  • DanceWize (Harm Reduction Victoria), which aims to reduce drug and alcohol-related harm at Victorian dance parties, festivals and nightclubs through peer education
  • RedFrogs Australia which aims to educate and support young people in alcohol-fuelled environments, such as school-leavers during schoolies week
  • Drug Overdose Prevention Education (DOPE) (Harm Reduction Victoria), which delivers peer-based overdose education to users of illicit drugs
  • Responsible Service of Alcohol provides training for licensees and staff selling or serving alcohol, in order to ensure licensed premises provide a safe and pleasant environment.

Where to get help

More information

Alcohol and drug services topics

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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Better Health Channel - (need new cp)

Last updated: February 2016

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