Positive Choices is an online portal to help school communities access accurate, up-to-date drug education resources and prevention programs.
Research suggests the teenage years are when alcohol and other drug use are first initiated. This highlights the importance of intervening early with young people to prevent drug use uptake and associated harms. Schools are an ideal place for these conversations to take place, with the potential for broad-ranging impact and tailoring of messages to suit students’ developmental level. In parallel, parents should be engaged in these important discussions and provided with guidance about how to protect against drug related harms. Central to these activities is the need for accurate and credible evidence-based information that can be accessed by young people, their parents and teachers.
To meet this need, the Australian Government Department of Health funded the development of Positive Choices, an online portal that facilitates access to interactive evidence-based drug education resources for school communities. Positive Choices was informed by input from teachers, parents and students across Australia, and was developed in collaboration by researchers from:
In 2014, Positive Choices was recognised by the Australian Rotary Health Knowledge Dissemination Award at the Society for Mental Health Research Conference. The award was for excellence in bridging the gap between knowledge gained through research and the dissemination of that knowledge to clinicians, consumers and carers, and its implementation into policy and practice.
We would like to thank the many teachers, parents and students from around the country who generously provided their input and feedback during the development of this resource. Here are some of the things they had to say about Positive Choices:
- “It had extensive information. It addressed so many aspects of drug and alcohol usage - facts and information that I may not have thought about addressing myself.” —Parent
- “The whole portal is honestly one of the best, most informative, wide ranging and also easiest to use sites that I have encountered. I shall be sharing this site with my whole school staff and also my friends to help them with their parenting issues. Overall…10/10!” —Teacher
- “This is a great resource. Its primary value is in bringing together all of these resources in an accessible manner.” —Teacher