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A review of alcohol and drug education and early intervention programs in Australian government schools

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posted on 31.07.2019, 00:00 authored by Bosco RowlandBosco Rowland, Michelle BensteadMichelle Benstead, Matin Ghayour Minaie, Heidi RennerHeidi Renner, R Smith, John ToumbourouJohn Toumbourou
In recent decades, reductions have been observed in Australian school student alcohol and drug use. A range of effective alcohol and drug use programs and policies have contributed to the decline in youth alcohol and drug use. The changing context of youth alcohol and drug use introduces the need to review future prevention and early intervention targets against school programs and policies to establish new direction. This report reviews alcohol and drug use prevention and early intervention
approaches used in Australian government schools. First, a literature review is presented summarising the evidence for effective programs and the theoretical mechanisms that underpin successful behaviour change. Second, the report assesses to what extent the current alcohol and drug use prevention and early intervention approaches used in Australian government schools accord with projected needs and the
evidence for effective programs. The literature review completed for this report identified that there are an increasing number of evidence-based alcohol and drug use prevention and early intervention approaches available to Australian schools. However, our examination of state government websites and surveys of school staff suggest that the majority of schools do not use evidence-based programs and guide their school practices instead on general frameworks and principles. The report makes five recommendations:
(1) set ambitious behaviour change targets for continued reduction of alcohol and drug use amongst Australian school students;
(2) evaluate school practices that are based on frameworks and principles to ensure they are safe and not contributing to harm;
(3) offer incentives to schools that use evidence-based alcohol and drug programs;
(4) place a priority on the evaluation of school alcohol and drug education programs, within Australian government research funding schemes; and
(5) examine positive youth development outcomes in the evaluation of school alcohol and drug education programs.

History

Pagination

1 - 44

Publisher

Deakin University

Place of publication

Burwood, Vic.

Language

English

Research statement

This report firstly presents a literature review summarising the evidence for effective school alcohol and drug use prevention and early intervention programs and the theoretical mechanisms that underpin successful behaviour change. Secondly, the report assesses to what extent the current approaches used in Australian government schools accord with projected needs and the evidence for effective programs.

Publication classification

A6 Research report/technical paper

Copyright notice

2019, Deakin University

Editor/Contributor(s)

Adrian Kelly, Anne Miller, Rachel Reilly, Petra Staiger, Shane Varcoe, John Wiggers, Rebecca Hodder

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