Abstracts for all presentations offered to school communities are available.

Student Presentations 2024

Year 10
Young people, alcohol and risk taking: Looking after your mates

This introductory session focuses on alcohol and attempts to debunk some of the myths in this area, particularly around how to look after someone who has drunk too much. Simple strategies to keep themselves and their friends safer when they are socialising will be provided to the students. Using the latest prevalence data, ‘positive norms’ will be promoted, i.e., the majority of Year 10s do not use drugs. Information will also be provided on e-cigarettes and vaping. Finally, using real-life stories, basic life skills on how to deal with alcohol-related emergencies will be discussed, including knowing when to call an ambulance.

Year 11
Alcohol and cannabis: What do you and your friends need to know?

This presentation reviews and builds upon the practical strategies introduced in the Year 10 session. Information on cannabis will be provided, once again focusing on ‘positive norms’ i.e., most young people do not use the drug and fewer teens are using it than in the past. Potential cannabis-related harms, with an emphasis on mental health will be discussed, as well as some of the possible warning signs that could indicate a person may be experiencing problems with their cannabis use. An update on vaping and e-cigarettes will also be provided. Finally, the impact of alcohol on the adolescent brain will be discussed, highlighting the potential risks of drinking during the teen years.

Year 12
Last year at school: What do I need to know about alcohol and other drugs?

By their final year of school, many students will either be driving or about to get their licence. To ensure these young drivers are as prepared as possible, information about drink driving and the process of random breath testing (RBT), as well as roadside (RDT) or mobile drug testing (MDT) will be provided. Depending on the group, information about ecstasy/MDMA and psychedelics will also be discussed, including the implications of being caught with an illicit substance in your possession. Finally, the importance of seeking help as quickly as possible should something go wrong will also be reiterated.

Staff Presentations 2024 

School-based young people and alcohol and other drugs: Hot topics 2024

Using the most current data, this presentation will provide information on young people and their use of alcohol and other drugs. A number of ‘hot topics’ such as vaping, the use of social media apps to purchase drugs and the resurgence of psychedelics will also be discussed. Finally, the school’s role in providing age-appropriate drug education and the important part teachers play in building resilient young people will be examined.

Drugs and mental health: What do teachers need to know?

This presentation will examine what we currently know about school-based young people and their mental health. What is the link between alcohol and other drug (AOD) use and mental health and, most importantly, what do we know about the AOD use of students with a mental health diagnosis? Information will be provided on the impact of the use of particular substances on mental health, including alcohol, cannabis, ecstasy/MDMA and psychedelics. Vaping will also be discussed. Finally, the school’s role will be examined, as well as what the classroom teacher can realistically do in this complex area.

Vaping – ‘short and sweet’: What do teachers need to know?

Vaping (the use of electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes or ‘vapes’) has become a growing issue for many schools across the country. This session will provide up-to-date and accurate information on the use of e-cigarettes and vaping, as well as examine prevention messages that are most likely to be effective when working with school-based young people. It will also discuss the importance of a whole school approach involving clear policies, best practice AOD education and accurate and up-to-date information disseminated across the school community.

Parent Presentations 2024

Teens, parties, alcohol and vapes: What do parents need to know?

During adolescence, teens develop a biological need to be around friends and it is important to provide them with opportunities to socialise with their peers whenever possible. Using the most current data available this presentation will examine the use of alcohol and other drugs by school-based young people. Simple strategies will be provided to help ensure teens are able to interact with friends on a Saturday night and, at the same time, reduce the risk of underage drinking and the potential dangers associated with such behaviour. In addition, up-to-date information will be provided on vaping, particularly in relation to young people. It aims to empower parents with a positive message and assist them in having open and honest family discussions in this complex area.

Vaping and Australian young people 2024: What do parents need to know?

Vaping (the use of electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes or ‘vapes’) has become a growing issue for many parents across the country. This session will provide up-to-date and accurate information on the use of e-cigarettes and vaping, including the potential harms associated with the use of these devices, particularly in relation to young people. Practical advice will also be provided on how to talk to young people about vaping, as well as some possible responses that parents can use should their child attempt to challenge them in this complex area.

‘Risk taking’ – why do teens do the things they do? What can parents do to keep them as safe as possible?

Adolescence is a risky time. As a teen matures and becomes more independent, they experience dramatic hormonal changes, increasing social and peer pressure and have greater access to alcohol and other drugs. This presentation will briefly examine the history of ‘teenagers’, rebellion and the different ‘temptations’ that have existed over time. Using the latest research on the developing brain, it will also discuss why young people make the decisions they do during this time. Sleepovers, parties and gatherings provide teens with valuable opportunities to develop important socialising skills but are not ‘risk-free’. Some practical strategies and tips for parents considering allowing their teen to attend such events to help ensure they are as safe as possible.

Looking for information or support services on alcohol or drugs?

If you or a friend or family member needs assistance in this area, Alcohol and Drug Information Services (ADIS) are available in every state and territory. Each of these are each staffed by trained professionals who can help with your query and provide confidential advice or refer you to an appropriate service in your area.

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