Webinar: How can teachers and parents respond to the challenge of 'Legal-Highs'


This resource has undergone expert review.


The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of Sydney.


1-hour webinar recording and handout, available on demand.


This webinar is useful for teachers, parents and anyone else seeking information about the prevention of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), also known as ‘legal highs’ or ‘synthetic drugs’. NPS are substances specifically designed to mimic the effects of existing illegal drugs, such as MDMA/ecstasy and cannabis. These new drugs are especially risky as virtually nothing is known about their harms and effects, especially in the long-term, and they are often marketed as ‘legal highs’ or ‘bath salts’ which can mislead young people into incorrectly thinking they are low-risk and safe to use. Therefore, there is a clear need to educate students about NPS. This webinar will provide attendees with an overview of some of the most common types of NPS and possible side effects, discuss the importance of dispelling common misconceptions about the legal status and risk profiles of NPS, and introduce an online ‘universal’ school-based program that has been specifically developed to prevent NPS use and related harms.


This webinar will lead to:

  • Improved knowledge of what NPS are, common types, and rates of use.
  • An understanding of the possible risks and consequences of NPS use for young people.
  • Introduction to a new online prevention program for secondary school students specifically targeting MDMA/ecstasy and NPS misuse.

Evidence Base

This webinar was developed by Dr Katrina Champion at the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use, National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW (now based at The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, The University of Sydney) and informed by review of the research evidence on this topic. 

(Webinar conducted on 26/10/16)

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