Recommended program

OurFutures: Cannabis & Psychostimulant Module

Cannabis & Psychostimulants
Silver

This resource is supported by one published study.

Year:
Year 9–10
Time Allocated

1-6 lessons

Origin

Australian

Cost

Free

Available

Previously known as Climate Schools, the OurFutures programs are managed by the OurFutures team at the Matilda Centre, University of Sydney. 
Click below to be directed to the OurFutures website for information on accessing the programs.

Access OurFutures

Developers

OurFutures was developed by researchers currently based at the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of Sydney, Australia, formerly based at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), School of Psychiatry, and the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use at UNSW Sydney.

Format

This curriculum-aligned online program is designed to be administered by teachers within classrooms. The program involves 6 x 45-minute lessons, each with two components:

  • A 20-minute computer-based component.
  • Teacher facilitated activities.

No specialist teacher training is required. This module is ideally delivered 6 months to 1 year after the OurFutures: Alcohol and Cannabis Module.

Summary

The OurFutures: Cannabis and Psychostimulants Module was developed for 14-17 year olds and aims to prevent and reduce substance use and related harms. Designed to be implemented within the school health curriculum, OurFutures is based on a social influence approach to prevention and uses cartoon storylines to engage and maintain student interest and involvement.

Students follow six episodes of an online cartoon-based drama about teenagers and their experiences. Through the storyline, students learn different drug classifications and their effects, the short- and long-term consequences of cannabis and psychostimulants, how to identify drug-related risk and stay safe, communication styles and being assertive, problem-solving skills, legal implications of drug use, and how to get help. Stop & Think activities are embedded in the cartoons and each episode ends with a short quiz to assess and consolidate learning. The class and homework activities are designed to reinforce the material taught in the cartoon and encourage students to apply the preventative messages and practice skills. Feedback indicates that teachers and students enjoy the program, and implementation within the classroom environment is highly feasible.

Training and Costs

Access to OurFutures is currently FREE until the end of 2022 and will be $10 per-student-per-module thereafter.

Climate schools Pty Ltd is trading as OurFutures and was established in 2015 by Maree Teesson and Nicola Newton to distribute the Climate Schools/OurFutures programs and maximise social well-being. Refer to the OurFutures website for registration and subscription details.

Benefits

  • Increases knowledge of cannabis and psychostimulants.
  • Decreases pro-drug attitudes.
  • Reduces cannabis use frequency in female students.

Evidence Base

The OurFutures program was evaluated, and the evidence was published, using the name Climate Schools. Benefits of the OurFutures: Cannabis & Psychostimulants Module have been demonstrated in Australia in one research study listed below. The OurFutures programs have also been endorsed by a number of organisations as listed below. 

Sources

Vogl, L. E., Newton, N. C., Champion, K. E., & Teesson, M. (2014). A universal harm-minimisation approach to preventing psychostimulant and cannabis use in adolescents: a cluster randomised controlled trial. Substance abuse treatment, prevention, and policy, 9, 24.

The OurFutures programs received a three-star rating from the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) following their comprehensive systematic review of alcohol education programs. OurFutures was the only Australian program to receive the maximum evidence rating.  
 

The OurFutures programs were recognised at the 2014 Society of Mental Health Research conference with the Australian Rotary Health Knowledge Dissemination award.
Australian Rotary Health

Page last reviewed: 12/08/2022

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