Term 1 2022 - Teachers
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Dear *|FNAME|*,

Welcome back to Term 1! Positive Choices is here to help you plan effective drug and alcohol education for the year ahead. This newsletter includes programs and resources that are curriculum-aligned, engaging for students and easy-to-use for teachers and school staff. You'll also find the latest research on school-based programs that are currently being evaluated. 

The Positive Choices portal for teachers and schools provides advice and information to help you talk to your students about drugs and alcohol. To access these resources: 

Following a challenging holiday break for many, your school community may be more concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic than ever. This factsheet for students provides tips for looking after their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic and how to get support. You can also find more information about services available to young people on our help page here
Did you miss our latest webinar? Catch up on the recording now! This webinar was presented by Dr Lauren Gardner from the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use. The webinar covered: 
  • Substance use and mental health among Australian adolescents.
  • The OurFutures/Climate Schools model, evidence, and impact.
  • The new and improved OurFutures platform.
  • Information about how to get involved.
OurFutures is available for FREE in Term 1 and Term 2, 2022. To find out more and register your school, click here.

The link between substance use, mental health, and other lifestyle behaviours.

During adolescence, many habits and routines are formed which often continue into adulthood. This factsheet discusses the "Big 6" lifestyle risk behaviours and how they are linked. Helping young people improve one health behaviour can motivate them to improve others. Click here to find out more. 

The influence of drugs on the developing brain.

The brain continues to develop and mature well into early adulthood, and doesn't finish until 25 years of age! Continued brain development during adolescence and early adulthood can make the brain more vulnerable to the negative impacts of alcohol and other drug use. Read this factsheet to find out more.

Harm reduction: set, setting, drug

Reducing the harms of drug use is a complex undertaking. In addition to the risks of the drug that is consumed, other factors such as the individual and the environment need to be considered. This factsheet designed for students looks at the 'Set, Setting & Drug' framework which can be applied to any situation where drug use occurs, to help young people consider and reduce potentials risks. 

Talking to a young person about alcohol and other drugs. 

Sometimes students feel more comfortable talking about their personal issues with a trusted teacher than with a family member. If you think a student is affected by drug use, this factsheet provides tips on how to support them and communicate effectively with them about their drug use. Click here.

School-based drug and alcohol prevention.

For each year we can delay the use of alcohol for a young person, the odds of developing alcohol dependence are significantly reduced. To help you choose appropriate and effective drug and alcohol resources for you class, read this three-part factsheet. It outlines the importance of drug and alcohol prevention, what works and how to select resources.

Respect Your Brain' animated series.

How well do young people understand their brain? A recent study found that the 'Respect Your Brain' animations on alcohol, cannabis and MDMA were effective in engaging young people + offer an innovative new way to reduce alcohol and other drug related harm. Share the videos with your class! Click here.


Have you visited the website for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities? 

Positive Choices shares knowledge to help teachers and school staff talk about alcohol and other drugs with young people. There are resources and information created with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to help young people stay strong and safe. Click here to check it out now!
Strong & Deadly Futures is the first school-based alcohol and drug prevention program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary students. Researchers at the Matilda Centre are currently evaluating the program's effectiveness in reducing alcohol and other drugs use and improving wellbeing among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. Read the protocol paper here to learn more!
A recent review looked at the factors linked to substance use problems amongst adolescents worldwide. School connectedness, structured activity and a desire to maintain one's health were some of the factors that protected against substance use problems.
The Illiic Project is a neuroscience-based, harm reduction program for students in grades 10-12. A recent randomised controlled trial found that students who received the program were less likely to engage in alcohol and substance use or experience alcohol related harms. Read the full article here.

Get your FREE copy of the teachers and schools booklet for more information about school-based drug prevention. There is also a student version that can be used in your health education classes!

The aim of this e-newsletter is to provide our subscribers with information about drug prevention resources, and to share relevant news and events.

Please help us spread the word by forwarding this newsletter to other teachers and educators in your networks, and encourage them to subscribe here.
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The Positive Choices newsletter is sent out once every term, and contains updates and information relating to the Positive Choices website. Recently published newsletters will take 48 hours to be listed on this page.