Q & A

Q & A for Teachers

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  • Q: What can I do with my user account?

    Many of the resources on this site have been developed specifically for use by teachers. You can find resources to supplement your lessons, brief class activities for a single class, or an entire drug prevention program which has been thoroughly evaluated by researchers and proven to improve student well-being. 

    Once you have created a user account, you can use your account to bookmark or save resources so that when you return next time, you will be able to easily find, manage, print, and share your resources. Sign up for an account here.

  • Q: What are “Links to the National Curriculum”?

    The Australian Curriculum sets consistent standards nationally for what students across Australia should be learning. The National Health and Physical Education curriculum has been developed and is awaiting final endorsement. It was agreed in November 2013 that the curriculum would be made available for state and territory use.

    To assist teachers in planning their lessons in line with the Australian Curriculum, resources in the portal have been mapped onto focus areas within the Australian Curriculum. Some resources, for example the Climate Schools and SHARHP programs, have been designed with the Australian curriculum in mind and address most of Health and Physical Education general and “AD” (Alcohol and other Drugs) items. Other resources may only relate to one focus area. In the left-hand column of a resource description, under “Links to the National Curriculum”, you can see the curriculum items that resource could be used to address. By hovering over the curriculum code, (e.g. ACCPS072) a pop-up text box will tell you the content domain, and clicking on the code will take you to the full description of that curriculum item on the Australian Curriculum website.

    If you are looking to teach on a particular focus area, you can also refine resources to show only those that are relevant for particular curriculum items.

  • Q: How do I choose which drug education resources to use?

    In selecting a resource or prevention program to use in your classroom, it is useful to consider the following:

    • Is this resource tailored to the appropriate age and developmental level?
    • Is this resource culturally appropriate for my class?
    • Has this resource been implemented previously in similar settings and with similar students?
    • Will the resource be engaging and motivating for students?
    • Does this resource fit well within the Australian Curriculum?
    • Is the information fact-based and accurate? Does the information come from a reliable source?
    • Is the resource evidence-based? Has the resource been tested and proven to produce beneficial outcomes for young people?
    • Do I have the necessary training and materials to implement the resource?

    On Positive Choices, we provide detailed information about each resource to help you determine whether it is suitable for your classroom. We have also provided a number of search filters to help you refine resources according to your specific needs. Search filters can be seen on the left hand column (under the heading "Refine by") on search result pages, or when viewing a list of resources (e.g., Teacher Resources or Recommended Program Resources). 

    To filter your search results, click to expand each search category. For example, if you wish to filter your results to only show resources suited for Year 8 students, you would click to expand all filters under "Year Level", and click the checkbox for "7-8". Then click on the "Update" button to refine your search.

  • Q: Does drug use cause mental health problems?

    Research has investigated the short and long-term effects of drug use. Studies do show a link between drug use and mental health problems including depression, anxiety and in some cases psychosis (a serious mental illness that causes people to misinterpret or confuse reality). 

    Read our Drugs A to Z factsheets to find out more about the risks associated with particular substances.

  • Q: Do drug prevention programs work?

    When selecting resources or programs to use in your classroom, it is important to consider the “evidence base” (e.g., scientific research) that shows whether they will be effective. Below is an overview of what the research literature tells us about what does and doesn't work.

    What works?
    • School-based interventions based on social influence and/or skills development (e.g., refusal skills, problem-solving) are helpful for reducing alcohol and drug use.
    • There are a number of multi-component programs that have been developed specifically for the Australian context and have shown to reduce alcohol and/or drug use (see Recommended Programs).
    • There is some evidence that interactive teaching methods are more effective than passive teaching, although additional research investigating this question is needed.
     What’s uncertain?
    • There may be added benefit of combining universal programs (interventions delivered to all school students) with specific interventions targeting high-risk students (e.g., those students with risk factors for harmful substance use). This question is currently under investigation.
     What doesn't work?
    • We are not aware of any Australian school-based interventions that cause harm.

    For more information, see our factsheet on School-based drug prevention: What works?

  • Q: How do I meet the curriculum requirements?

    All states and territories across Australia have now commenced implementation of the Australian Curriculum. The Australian Curriculum sets consistent standards nationally for what students across Australia should be learning. The Australian Health and Physical Education curriculum has been developed and is awaiting final endorsement. It was agreed in November 2013 that the curriculum would be made available for state and territory use.

    To assist teachers in planning their lessons in line with the Australian Curriculum, resources in the portal have been mapped onto focus areas within the Australian Curriculum. Some resources, such as the Climate Schools and SHARHP programs, have been designed with the Australian Curriculum in mind and address many of the Health and Physical Education general and “AD” (Alcohol and other Drugs) curriculum items. Other resources may only relate to one focus area. In the left-hand column of a resource description, under “Links to the National Curriculum”, you can see the curriculum items that resource could be used to address. By hovering over the curriculum code, (e.g., ACCPS072) a pop-up text box will tell you the content domain, and clicking on the code will take you to the full description of that curriculum item on the Australian Curriculum website.

    To find out more about guidelines in your state, visit the relevant Department of Education webiste. Some states have free access to drug education resources provided by the department (e.g., SDERA resources in WA; Get Ready resources in Victoria). 

    Department of Education Links: