SMARTER ABOUT DRUGS: A conversation pack is a resource developed in partnership with Australia21 and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

It is a resource for teachers, counsellors and community leaders, designed to encourage critical thinking about drug and alcohol issues within their communities, as well as empowering them to take ownership of safety strategies and contribute to the development of effective drug and alcohol policies.

It includes a range of class activities that ask young people to reflect on:

  • their views about the use of alcohol and other drugs (illicit, prescription and over-the-counter),
  • how these issues affect them and their peers,
  • how we as a community respond to these issues,
  • and whether we could respond more effectively.

Schools have started using a ground-breaking drug and alcohol teaching resource which engages students in a way that has never been done before in Australia.

Watch the video below to see an example of the educational resource in action.

What does Smarter About Drugs Deliver?

Opportunity for young people to critically examine the effectiveness of Australian and International Drug Policy

An opportunity for young people to inform current strategies and have a voice in public debate on the issue of drug policy

A packed developed from upper primary through to senior secondary as well as young people outside of school

A pack rigorously vetted by teachers and academics and mapped to the curriculum

Opportunity for schoolsnationally to get involved

Smarter About Drugs: A conversation pack was officially launched in August 2017 by Associate Professor Yvonne Bonomo, a physician in Adolescent Medicine and Director of the Department of Addiction Medicine at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne.

“We need to change the way we talk about drugs and alcohol in Australia and address the issues we face in both a scientific and a humane way,” said A/Prof Bonomo.

“Analysing the evidence and policy in this area is a great way for young people to learn about the importance of informed decision making,” she said.

Case Study

Smarter About Drugs: A conversation pack was trialed at Star of the Sea College in Melbourne in August 2017, where Senior VCE Global Politics & Legal Studies teacher Peter Farrar integrated it into a Global Politics unit focusing on the response of governments to the use of illicit drugs.

The conversation pack can be adapted to a range of audiences and needs, for example, Smarter About Drugs is used for Unit 2 of VCE Legal Studies Area of Study 1.

Peter Farrar, Senior VCE Global Politics & Legal Studies teacher at Star of the Sea College in Melbourne uses Smarter About Drugs: A conversation pack as a resource for a unit on Globalisation with ‘Global threads and drug policy’.

“I started Smarter About Drugs with my Year 11 class, who were exhausted after examinations and a long second term. The conversations were extraordinary, with some students describing the ‘functional drug addiction’ of people they knew very well. Their energy and interest showed the conversation pack was a great success,” said Mr Farrar.

The resources available include:

• Unit outline

• Group worksheet

• Structured assignment

• Assessment sheet

Teachers are invited to modify the lesson plans to integrate their local community or state/territory issues.

Watch the video below to see the results of this case study.

jump on board

How can you get involved?

Visit to find out more and to purchase the pack

If you are a Lions Club consider purchasing a pack to donate t your local school

Contact us to find find out more about implementing the program at your school

Contact the Smarter About Drugs Team

If you would like to know about Smarter About Drugs please contact our Consultant Brenda Hosking  0418 859 007 

Want to know more about the ALWF projects?

Download our project profiles featuring information on each of our projects.