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Demand Reduction - Priority One  (Best Practice – Deny/Delay Uptake!)

We express deep concern at the high price paid by society and by individuals and their families as a result of the world drug problem, and pay special tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives and those who dedicate themselves to addressing and countering the world drug problem…

We commit to safeguarding our future and ensuring that no one affected by the world drug problem is left behind by enhancing our efforts to bridge the gaps in addressing the persistent and emerging trends and challenges through the implementation of balanced, integrated, comprehensive, multidisciplinary and scientific evidence-based responses to the world drug problem, placing the safety, health and well-being of all members of society, in particular our youth and children, at the centre of our efforts… 

UNODC – Commission On Narcotic Drugs – Vienna: 2019 Ministerial Declaration (page 3 & 5)

Families and particularly children, should never, ever be casualties of drug use, by anyone. 

It certainly is a gross injustice and heinous social irresponsibility to have policies that increase demand for, and/or access to, illicit drugs which facilitate the costly harms not easily repaired. 

The mantra that we ‘cannot arrest our way out of the drug problem’ is true. However, we also understand that we most definitely will not be able to ‘treat our way out of the drug problem’ either. 

There must be a health, education and legal approach, working in concert and that focuses on demand reduction, prevention and recovery from drug use. This journey approach that properly harnesses the three pillars of the National Drug Strategy – Demand Reduction – Supply Reduction – Harm Reduction, for the purpose of helping build a resilient culture that doesn’t need or want drugs, will see the healthy, productive and safe culture the United Nations Office of Drugs & Crime, and the World Health Organisation are pursuing.  

#demandreduction

'There is no credible voice in the literature that promotes or defends early uptake of alcohol or other drugs, as there is no safe drug use at all, of any drug, for the developing brain 0-26/32 years of age. And whilst not using any drug is not the only option, it is the best practice option for this vital stage of development of the young. As proactive and protective agents of children’s development we seek to afford and/or provide all children, their parents, care-givers or significant others, with as many best practice delaying/denying uptake mechanisms, vehicles and options as possible – Health Care Professionals and Families Must Focus on Youth Substance Use Prevention.

Individuals, groups and/or organisations that seek to permit, promote or otherwise enable young people to engage with psychotropic toxins at this vulnerable stage are not only denying best health practice, but are also contravening United Nations Conventions and Guidelines.

United Nations Economic and Social Council: Commission on Narcotic Drugs – Fifty-ninth session Vienna, March 2016: Operational recommendations on demand reduction and related measures, including prevention and treatment, as well as other health-related issues (p 5.)

We reiterate our commitment to promote the health, welfare and well-being of all individuals, families, communities and society as a whole, and facilitate healthy lifestyles through effective, comprehensive, scientific evidence-based demand reduction initiatives at all levels, covering, in accordance with national legislation and the three international drug control conventions, prevention, early intervention, treatment, care, recovery, rehabilitation and social reintegration measures, as well as initiatives and measures aimed at minimizing the adverse public health and social consequences of drug abuse, and we recommend the following measures:

Prevention of drug abuse

  1. Take effective and practical primary prevention measures that protect people, in particular children and youth, from drug use initiation by providing them with accurate information about the risks of drug abuse, by promoting skills and opportunities to choose healthy lifestyles and develop supportive parenting and healthy social environments and by ensuring equal access to education and vocational training;
  2. Also take effective and practical measures to prevent progression to severe drug use disorders through appropriately targeted early interventions for people at risk of such progression;
  3. Increase the availability, coverage and quality of scientific evidence-based prevention measures and tools that target relevant age and risk groups in multiple settings, reaching youth in school as well as out of school, among others, through drug abuse prevention programmes and public awareness-raising campaigns, including by using the Internet, social media and other online platforms, develop and implement prevention curricula and early intervention programmes for use in the education system at all levels, as well as in vocational training, including in the workplace, and enhance the capacity of teachers and other relevant professionals to provide or recommend counselling, prevention and care services; (UNGASS – 2016)

University of Queensland drugs expert Jake Najman said information given to students on drugs should not be a “half an hour school lesson”. Professor Najman said governments needed to invest in developing intensive, long-term drug education for students. “It’s a much more systematic problem that needs real commitment and not just a headline saying, ‘Don’t do it’,” he said. 

23 February 2018, Brisbane Times

We couldn’t agree more; that’s why we had developed our ‘all of school’ incursions and curriculum, along with our ‘all of community’ education seminars – including sporting clubs, parents, community leaders and policy makers! Changing the cultural narrative on drug use is a long game, in which the Dalgarno Institute has been a key stakeholder for over 150 years. Our consistent demand reduction and proactive prevention messaging and resources, have been effective in doing just that, when fully engaged by the community.

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THE “NO BRAINER” PROGRAM AND THE AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM

No Brainer AOD Education Overview

The No Brainer program aims to focus on factors that are best practice for a safe, healthy and more productive community, with particular emphasis on the United Nations aim within their charter for children’s rights that they be Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) free.  The International Declaration of the Rights of the Child: Principle Two states...

”The child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity. In the enactment of laws for this purpose, the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.”

The Dalgarno Institute AOD curriculum education process embraces this imperative. ethical principle within the framework of the Australian Harm Minimisation Drug Strategy, focusing particularly on two of the key pillars of this strategy being DEMAND REDUCTION and HARM REDUCTION.

The Dalgarno Institute (Coalition of Alcohol & Drug Educators) through its “Zero Hero” program for Primary Schools (Years 5-6) and its “No Brainer” program for Secondary Schools (Years 7 – 12) caters for student learning within the framework of the Australian Curriculum.  The following table indicates some of the relevant links to Subjects and applicable Strands or Substrands.

Consequently, a “Zero Hero” or “No Brainer” program presentation can be planned to integrate student learning across a number of subjects and strands; or alternatively can be incorporated as a learning experience in a specific subject.  For example, within Health and Physical Education:

Being healthy, safe and active

No Brainer focuses strongly on the importance of protecting both the developing brain and body during this second most important phase of human development. There is no level of ‘safe’ alcohol and other drug use during the adolescent phase and so key learning and understanding of what informs best practice health, safety and activity for the developmental phase is a key element of curriculum.

Communicating and interacting for health and wellbeing

No Brainer emphasises the need for clear relevant and creative communication of understandings not only to a student audience, but enables equipping for communication between peers.

Contributing to healthy and active communities

No Brainer informs, encourages and equips students with skills and actions which encourage and enable them to contribute to healthy communities through advocacy and other strategies which are embedded within the No Brainer curriculum program.

The following table provides information on some of the aspects of the Australian Curriculum which the Dalgarno Institute “NO Brainer” Curriculum Program addresses:

 

Learning areas

 

F-10 subjects

Links with the No Brainer Curriculum and Seminar

English

English

Focus on the Literacy Strand, and in particular on the sub strands of Creating Texts and Interacting with Others.

In the No Brainer Curriculum and Seminar, as well as receiving and processing information, both visual and aural, students are encouraged discuss their personal values and attitudes toward illicit drugs. They are also encouraged to create texts, both visual and auditory which project positive values and guidelines for preventing harm, both personally and across the broader community.

 

Mathematics

Mathematics

Most relevant strand is Statistics and Probability.

Students are presented with data on consequences of illicit drug use. They can develop their skills in interpreting the data and in some No Brainer activities are encouraged to investigate and report on the implications of data on the impact of prevention of illicit drug use.

Health and Physical Education

Health and Physical Education

Major Focus is on the Personal, Social and Community Health Strand.

The No Brainer Curriculum encompasses all three sub strands of

  • Being healthy, safe and active
  • Communicating and interacting for health and wellbeing
  • Contributing to healthy and active communities

 

Science

Science

No Brainer engages students in “Science Understanding”, particularly in informing students on the biological effects of illicit drug use.  Better understanding and being wise to the effects of various illicit drugs on the body and the brain address several aspects of “Science as Human Endeavour”

 

Humanities and Social Sciences

F-6/7 Humanities & Social Sciences,

7-10 History,

7-10 Geography,

7-10 Civics and Citizenship,

7-10 Economics and Business

In encouraging students to create positive attitudes towards drug prevention, including the option of saying “No” to drugs, the major focus of the No Brainer program is on the subject: Civics and Citizenship, in particular, it promotes a resilient society through the development of students’ understanding of broader values such as respect, civility, equity, justice and responsibility.

However, if students undertake further investigation, then they may address historic, geographic and economic concepts related to illicit drug use.

 

 

The Arts

Drama, Dance,

Media Arts,

Music,

Visual Arts

Both in communicating issues and concepts to students, and in students undertaking projects and developing responses to the No Brainer program, there is potential to engage in all aspects of The Arts.

 

 

 

Technologies

Design and Technologies, Digital Technologies

Focus on Technologies and Society substrand within the Design and Technologies Strand.

 

Students are encouraged to examine and prioritise competing factors including social, ethical and sustainability considerations in the design of solutions to prevent harms caused by illicit drug use which will meet community needs for preferred futures.

 

Languages

Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Indonesian, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Modern Greek, Spanish, Vietnamese

An extension of some of the student activities in the No Brainer curriculum would be to communicate in another language other than English key concepts and ideas about avoiding harmful drugs

 

 

 

“NO Brainer” Curriculum Program also requires students to exercise and develop their skills and abilities in all aspects of the General Capabilities, namely:
  • Literacy,  Numeracy,  Information and communication technology capability
  • Critical and creative thinking,  Personal and social capability,  Ethical and Intercultural understanding

PROSPECTUS

For further and full overview of program please feel free to download this PDF

Download Prospectus

United Nations CND: Prevention Education Priority

We provide a range of tools for educators to help deal with the issues of alcohol & other drugs
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