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Life Ed goes to High School

Wednesday, 28 Mar 2018

Students from Tamworth's Oxley High School are taking strides to combat the problem of drug and alcohol-related harms among young people.

More than 100 year 9 students from Oxley High School were the first in the region to participate in Life Ed’s Face the Facts program, which empowers young people in secondary schools to make safe and healthy choices when it comes to tobacco, alcohol, legal and illegal drugs.

Currently, Life Ed delivers health and safety education to more than 6000 students from 51 preschools and primary schools in the Tamworth region.

Due to demand from local schools and parents, Life Ed is expanding its program into secondary schools in the North West region.

The Face the Facts module builds on Life Ed’s upper primary drug education “Decisions” program, which was launched in Tamworth in December 2016.

Face the Face is delivered in interactive student-centred workshops and covers four key areas including tobacco, alcohol, and legal/illegal drugs. Schools can choose which of the four modules to focus on, depending on their particular need.

Life Ed NSW Head Educator, Angela Green said that as the dangers of drug and alcohol misuse become more apparent in the community, it’s up to us to arm our children with as much information as possible about the hazardous effects of harmful behaviours.

The good news is health prevention messages are getting through. Over the whole, alcohol and tobacco use are on the decline in our young people, so much so that some people have dubbed them the ‘sober generation.

“However, drug and alcohol education is still vitally important. We know that alcohol causes the most drug-related deaths among teenagers in Australia, and harms associated with drugs such as methamphetamine or ‘ice’ are on the rise, particularly in areas of regional NSW.”

Ms Green said that parents are also voicing their concerns when it comes to drug and alcohol use among young people.

“Life Ed recently surveyed more than 1000 Australian parents about their concerns when it comes to issues facing children and young people. Illegal drugs came second only to online safety, with 93% of parents survey rating it as ‘very important’,”Ms Green said.

“Oxley High has shown great initiative in ensuring its students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to make the best decisions when it comes to their health and safety.”

Oxley High School year coordinator Duane Miller said the school was taking a proactive approach to the health and wellbeing of their students by bringing Life Ed’s program to their school.

“We know that most students are making good choices and are not using alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs,” Mr Miller said.

“However, young people today face many challenges, and it is important to work with them to find solutions. Life Ed’s program complements our school-based learning and assists students to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to lead safe and healthy lives.”