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Paul Dillon (DARTA): Talks for School Students – 2020

Session Info:

For talks aimed at school students, presentations are fixed in content and format.

Year 10
Young people, alcohol and risk taking: Looking after your mates

Focussing primarily on alcohol, this introductory session attempts to debunk some of the myths in this area, particularly around how to look after friends. Accurate, up-to-date and credible information will be provided to assist young people to make healthier choices. The latest prevalence rates of alcohol and other drug use by secondary school students, will be discussed, with an emphasis on ‘positive norms’, i.e., how many young people choose not to drink alcohol or use other drugs. Basic life skills will also be discussed around alcohol-related emergencies, including knowing when to call an ambulance.

Year 11
Alcohol and cannabis: What if something goes wrong?

This presentation reviews and builds upon the practical strategies around ‘looking after your friends’ that were introduced in the Year 10 session. Information on cannabis will be provided, focussing on ‘positive norms’ once again, i.e., the majority of young people do not use the drug and use has declined over the years. Potential cannabis-related harms will be discussed, with an emphasis on the drug’s impact on mental health. Students will be provided with some warning signs that could indicate a person may be experiencing problems with their cannabis use. Finally, the impact of alcohol on the adolescent brain will be discussed, highlighting the potential risks of drinking during the teen years.

Year 12
Last year at school: What do I need to know about alcohol and other drugs?

By their final year of school, many students will either be driving or about to get their licence. To ensure these young drivers are as prepared as possible, information about drink driving and the process of random breath testing (RBT), as well as roadside (RDT) or mobile drug testing (MDT) will be provided. Some basic facts about ecstasy/MDMA will also be provided, including the impact that being caught with an illicit substance can have on a young person’s life, as well as the importance of seeking help as quickly as possible should something go wrong.

Program Restrictions & Conditions

Talks for students are provided only as part of whole school programs that also include talks to both school staff, and to parents & caregivers.

Paul does not present to students in year levels below Year 10. (His reasoning can be read here).

Session durations must be a minimum of 80 minutes for student talks.

Bookings that do not meet these criteria will be asked to amend their program, or may be declined.

Relevant Links

DARTA provides samples of some of Paul’s presentations here.

Paul maintains a blog through which parents & caregivers can stay up to date and have questions answered here, and one directed at young people here.

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