Recommended program

Get Ready

Get Ready: The A-Z Teacher's Guide

This resource is supported by multiple published studies.


Get Ready is managed by the Victorian Department of Education and Training. 
Click below to be directed to the Victorian Department of Education and Training website to access the Get Ready programs.

Access Get Ready


Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Edith Cowan University, University of Melbourne Youth Research Centre.


The program is designed to be administered by teachers and includes curriculum-based materials for Year 7–9 students:

  • Year 7: 10 x 60 minute lessons
  • Year 8: 10 x 60 minute lessons
  • Year 9: 10 x 60 minute lessons

Teacher and Student handbooks are available, as well as "trigger" videos that provide a starting point for discussion (available for Years 8 and 9 only).

Two days of professional training is recommended. 
The effectiveness of implementing the program without specialist training is not yet known.


The Get Ready evidence-based drug and alcohol education program for Years 7-9 has been trialled in 21 schools, involving 1750 students. The program received the Excellence in Prevention and Community Education Award, one of nine National Drug and Alcohol Excellence awards in 2012.

Each teacher manual provides contextual advice for teachers on the use of the material with students. It is recommended that the 10 lessons be delivered sequentially, as research supports this as the most effective delivery method. Opportunities for reinforcement of student knowledge are supported in the resource.

Topics covered at each year level are presented below. 

Lesson Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
1 Change, challenge & opportunity What is a drug? Introduction & definitions Priorities and Concerns
2 Expectations & dealing with pressures Alcohol, effects & standard drinks Alcohol & Cannabis guidelines
3 Strengths & solutions Party Behaviours & Alcohol Standard drinks & reducing alcohol-related harms
4 Cigarettes - effects on the body Prevalence & Norms Effects/risks of amphetamines, drug-free alternatives
5 Cigarettes - image & invitations Tobacco Drugs, disinhibition, sexual vulnerability & violence
6 Alcohol effects & pressures Cannabis Risks related to injecting drug use
7 Alcohol - standard drinks Risk Reduction Positive self-talk, refusal skills and peer negotiation
8 Alcohol & harm minimisation Social and media influences Getting help and talking with adults
9 Assertion and negotiation skills Options & Decisions: Strategies to reduce harms  Responsible Partying
10 Learning Quiz Standing up for yourself  Looking ahead


  • Increases knowledge about alcohol and other drugs
  • Increases communication between parents and students about alcohol
  • Reduces alcohol consumption
  • Decreases alcohol related harms
  • Reduces tobacco smoking
  • Reduces tobacco smoking related harms.

Evidence Base

The effectiveness of implementing the program without specialist training is not yet known, as all the studies listed below incorporated two days of professional teacher training. Benefits of the Get Ready program for Years 8 and 9 have been demonstrated in Australia as listed below under sources.


Midford, R., Cahill, H., Lester, L., Ramsden, R., Foxcroft, D. R. and Venning, L. (2018). Alcohol prevention for school students: Results from a 1-year follow up of a cluster-randomised controlled trial of harm minimisation school drug education. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy 25(1): 88-96.

Midford, R., Cahill, H., Lester, L., Foxcroft, D. R., Ramsden, R. and Venning, L. (2016). Smoking prevention for students: findings from a three-year program of integrated harm minimisation school drug education. Substance Use and Misuse, 51, 395-407.

Midford, R., Ramsden, R., Lester, L., Cahill, H., Mitchell, J., Foxcroft, D. R., & Venning, L. (2015). Alcohol Prevention and School Students: Findings From an Australian 2-Year Trial of Integrated Harm Minimization School Drug Education. Journal of drug education, 44, 71-79.

Midford, R., Mitchell, J., Lester, L., Cahill, H., Foxcroft, D., Ramsden, R., Venning, L., Pose, M. (2014). Preventing alcohol harm: early results from a cluster randomised, controlled trial in Victoria, Australia of comprehensive harm minimisation school drug education. International Journal of Drug Policy, 25, 142-150.

Mitchell, J., Midford, R., Cahill, H., Ramsden, R., Lester, L., Venning, L., Davenport, G., Pose, M., Murphy, B. (2013). Smoking prevention: what benefits are indicated by a pilot school drug education programme that focuses on minimising harm?. International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, 51, 95-107

Midford, R., Cahill, H., Ramsden, R., Davenport, G., Venning, L., Lester, L., Murphy, B., Pose, M. (2012). Alcohol prevention: what can be expected of a harm reduction focused school drug education program? Drugs; Education, Prevention and Policy, 19, 102-110. 

Page last reviewed: 24/07/2024

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