Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

School lessons reduce alcohol-related harm

Drug and Alcohol Findings take a look at SHARHP, the Australian school based harm reduction education programme. (Readers may remember we looked at the programme a little while ago.)

In a UK-like youth drinking context, the study has shown that a well-delivered, fairly intensive, state-of-the-art curriculum focused on alcohol harm reduction can achieve its objectives and sustain this effect over the next year and a half, whilst also reducing drinking per se during the life of the intervention. Pupils who benefited most were those at greatest risk. This outcome profile suggest that the intervention’s content had the intended effect. However, it was not just different from the comparison lessons but better resourced, started earlier, and more extensive. Had these dimensions been equalised, SHAHRP’s advantages might have been eroded.

In terms of the implications for UK practice the paper argues that schools should now be able to feel confident that this is a programme that can reduce the harms that alcohol can do.  However, it points out:

it may take a national policy drive matching that on illegal drugs before schools are prepared to devote as much time to alcohol as envisaged in SHAHRP.

SHARHP is currently being evaluated in a number of schools in Northern Ireland and I saw a presentation of the findings at a conference last week.  There seemed to be similarly good outcomes from that trial as are described here.  I hope I’ll be able to point you to the presentation when it’s put up on line.

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Filed under: alcohol, drug education, research,

One Response

  1. […] posts I’ve done on SHAHRP, in particular this one which set out some of their findings and this one which linked to Drug and Alcohol Findings take on the programme.  I’ve also previously […]

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