Whole school approach to drug education
With incidents of illicit drug consumption on the rise nationally, students from Balgowlah Boys Campus are taking strides to combat the problem.
For the first time, more than 750 students from Balgowlah Boys Campus will participate in Life Ed’s Face the Facts program this month, which empowers young people in secondary schools to make safe and healthy choices when it comes to tobacco, alcohol, legal and illegal drugs. The school has committed to all of its students seeing the program annually.
Balgowlah Boys Campus Deputy Principal Ian James with Life Ed Head Educator Angela Green
Currently, Life Ed delivers health and safety education to more than 16,000 students from 52 preschools and primary schools in the Northern Beaches.
Due to demand from schools and parents, Life Ed is expanding its secondary program into more regions of Sydney and regional NSW.
Face the Facts 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 equip young people with as much information as possible about the effects of harmful behaviours.
“The good news is health prevention messages are getting through. Overall, alcohol and tobacco use are on the decline in our young people, so much so that some people have dubbed them the ‘sober generation’,” Ms Green said.
“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 illicit drugs are on the rise.”
A recent report from The National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program revealed that nationally, illicit drug consumption was increasing. Furthermore, NSW recorded the highest average capital city use of cocaine in the country.
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 surveyed rating it as ‘very important’,”Ms Green said.
“Balgowlah Boys Campus 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.”
Balgowlah Boys Campus Head Teacher of Wellbeing, Vanessa Briggs said they were 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,” Vanessa Briggs said.
“However, young people today face many challenges, and it is important to work with them to find solutions. We see immense value in bringing Life Ed’s program to our school to present a harm minimisation approach to drugs and alcohol and its effects on entire communities.”