Term 3 2018 Teachers
Positive Choices Issue #13: Keeping you up-to-date with evidence-based drug prevention.
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The aim of this e-newsletter is to provide our subscribers with information about new research findings and drug prevention resources, and to share relevant news, conferences and events.
Thank you for subscribing to the Positive Choices newsletter, and welcome to our Term 3 issue for 2018.
In this issue, we focus on preventing harm from alcohol and other drugs among young people living in rural areas. We are also pleased to announce: 
  • our next webinar, hosted by Paul Dillon, on how parents can keep their teenager safe at parties and events
  • the Illicit Project pilot study, a new drug education program that is looking for schools to take part in testing the program
 Please help us spread the word by forwarding this newsletter to colleagues in your school or networks, and encourage them to subscribe at www.positivechoices.org.au. 

Preventing alcohol and other drug harms among rural young people


Young people living in regional and rural areas are at higher risk of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use, and at greater risk of harm from alcohol use.

Schools play a powerful role in protecting young people from these risks. A positive and inclusive school environment helps foster a sense of community for young people, and teenagers who feel part of the school community are less likely to have problems with drugs and/or alcohol.

There are many practical ways school staff can help to reduce harms from drug and alcohol.

Some of these include:
  • Provide teenagers with a choice to participate in drug- and alcohol-free activities, such as sport, or give them leadership roles. Organising community events such as midnight basketball or open-air movie nights can be a great way to move the focus of social events away from drugs and alcohol. Involving young people in planning these events is important
  • Choose resources for drug education that are evidence-based and engaging. It can be hard to access resources and training for schools in remote areas, however there are a number of evidence-based programs available via Positive Choices. View our Recommended Programs, or access our free training Webinars
  • Be prepared to have a conversation with teenagers about drugs and alcohol. Young people often confide in a teacher, who can have a positive impact on their decisions around drugs and alcohol. Importantly, concerns about privacy in small towns is a barrier for young people to come forward for help or advice. If a student confides in you, let them know the discussion will be kept private unless there is clear danger to themselves or others. Watch Positive Choices' webinar on How to Talk with Teenagers about Alcohol Use, or read our factsheet here.
There are many other strategies to help protect young people living in regional or remote areas. Positive Choices' has developed a new fact sheet examining solutions for both parents and teachers. See for yourself how you can help!

Teenage parties provide young people with valuable opportunities to develop a range of social skills that they need to relate effectively with their peers. As they get older alcohol is more likely to become a part of these social gatherings and, unfortunately, things can go wrong. 

This presentation will examine what we know about school-based young people and alcohol use and its use at parties. It will also provide practical strategies and simple tips for parents considering allowing their teen to attend such events to help ensure they are as safe as possible. 


This webinar will provide: 

  • information about teenage parties and the involvement of alcohol
  • practical strategies and advice for parents to make sure their child is a safe as possible when attending a party 
Please pass on to any parents in your networks.

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, is seeking expressions of interest from schools to take part in a pilot study of neuroscience-based drug education.

The "Illicit Project Pilot Study" is a new school-based drug education program being run by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW. This will be the first trial of a science-based, peer-led, drug literacy program in schools across Sydney.

The program targets students aged 15-18 (school years 10-12) and covers the following topics:
  • Alcohol and the growing adolescent brain
  • Recreational drugs and the reward pathway
  • Mental health and wellbeing
To ensure your school does not miss out on this opportunity, please provide submit your interest today!
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer on 0416 512 731 or j.debenham@unsw.edu.au.
Listen to the Positive Choices team present, or catch up with us at our booth / display, at these upcoming events.
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