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Drug education based on life skills in schools

For a long time schools have been an important setting for UNODC to reach many children and adolescents with prevention activities. Evidence-based drug education based on life skills that offer personal, social, resistance and communication skills, normative education about how many of the peers in the adolescent age group actually have tried alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs (which typically is a lot less than adolescents think it is!), as well as information about the short-term effects of drugs through a series of session offered by trained teachers who use interactive techniques to engage the young people are very effective. It is important that schools have a written policy on alcohol, tobacco and substance use that covers all students and staff working in schools. To review the contribution to evidence concerning the effectiveness of drug prevention programs in Europe, please visit the European Drug Addiction Prevention (EU-DAP) programme website.

UNODC has published a guide called SCHOOLS : School-based education for drug abuse prevention. This guide is available in: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

The aim of this publication is to guide schools in developing and implementing school policy and drug education programmes as part of a health promotion curriculum.


School-based Standards Version 2.0 Now Available

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) has today released Version 2.0 of Building on Our Strengths: Canadian Standards for School-based Youth Substance Abuse Prevention, which aims to strengthen new and existing youth substance abuse prevention and health promotion efforts in Canadian schools.

Developed as a resource tool for school/board staff and other public health or addictions prevention professionals, the School-based Standards document contains the 17 Standards as well as guiding principles and a workbook. Together they represent a planning and implementation cycle that has been organized according to four phases and can be used to guide a full design, implementation and evaluation process. To learn more about the School-based Standards, please click here.

These Standards are fast becoming a valuable resource for those working in education as they provide a practical, evidence-informed framework for assessing, developing and implementing a comprehensive approach to prevention. Their value is exemplified by the positive testimonials they are receiving:

"The Standards are a one-stop-shop for teachers-they summarize the relevant literature, provide a much-needed Canadian perspective, and give a clear and comprehensive overview of how initiatives can be designed, implemented and evaluated," remarks Dr. Abby Goldstein Assistant Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto.
"The value of the Standards is that no matter what level of knowledge or understanding of substance abuse issues you have, this document is an excellent guide for how to begin to develop your own programs," says Bill Tucker, Eastern Vice President of the Canadian Association of Principals (CAP).

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