Reducing Risk Taking Behaviours Among Young People

July 9, 2020

When our independent high schools were adapting to remote learning, the team at Dunlea Alcohol and Other Drugs Youth Service were also utilising the technologies made available to them. During this time, the team put together some amazing information sessions that young people can access online to learn about drug and alcohol abuse. This new technology has allowed the team to set up these awesome programs which have been trialled by students at our independent high schools.

These sessions give young people the privacy of learning and discussing these sometimes private issues in the comfort of their home or remotely on their laptops. These 5 week programs cover everything from information and statistics about substance abuse to coping strategies and reduction tips. By reducing risk taking behaviour among our young people these programs are leading to many more positive outcomes in their schooling, social lives and health. Tony Turanga, Acting Team Leader Dunlea, says the program is off to a very successful start:

“There has been tons of really positive feedback coming from our young people and we can see how these programs are really opening their eyes and facilitating positive changes in their lives. “

As one in five households have reported buying more alcohol than usual since the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia,[1] the issues of drug and alcohol abuse are becoming even more concerning to our youth workers. With loss of routine and boredom contributing to higher rates of substance abuse, our youth workers are working hard to keep our young people empowered to make positive lifestyle decisions during this time.

“Another great thing about the program, is that we, as youth workers, are getting the chance to see what young people know on these topics and where they are getting their information from. So it’s really a win- win for both parties as we are all learning more about the fight against alcohol and drug abuse. “

These programs have been trialled with students at our independent high schools and have had great success among these young people. Following this success, the Dunlea team are looking to expand and trial these programs with other schools in the area. There has already been a lot of interest from some schools out west that will commence these programs after the school holidays.

The team at Dunlea continue to support young people to make positive lifestyle decisions and to turn their lives around. We are amazed at their innovative thinking in creating these programs that are truly making a difference to young people in need.

[1] https://fare.org.au/wp-content/uploads/COVID-19-POLL.pdf

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