Home' Independence : Independence Vol 33 No 2 Oct 2008 Contents 66 Independence Volume 33 No. 2
Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety
and Depression (CRUfAD), St
Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, NSW
CLIMATE Schools: Alcohol Module is
a CD-ROM or internet-based education
resource developed for health and personal
development curriculums across Australian
high schools. The alcohol course takes a
harm minimisation approach. While it rec-
ommends abstinence as the safest option, it
acknowledges that alcohol use is a reality
for many young people.
The module was developed in collaboration
with teachers, students and relevant health
and legal professionals and consists of six
lessons, each with two components. The
first component involves students complet-
ing an interactive computer-based comic
story. The comic story is in the form of a
teenage drama, designed to hold young
people's attention whilst imparting knowl-
edge and skills to minimise alcohol use and
related harms. The second component of the
program consists of a variety of interactive
individual, small group and class-based ac-
tivities. These activities enable young people
to apply the information and skills they have
learnt to situations which are relevant to
their own lives.
All the resources for CLIMATE Schools:
Alcohol Module can be found at http://www.
climateschools.tv/. This site includes both a
teacher's club and student area. To access the
teacher's area, teachers need to register, after
which they will be able to log in.
The Teacher's Club provides information
about how to use the program. A lesson
outline and links to the syllabus are pro-
vided for each of the six lessons, as well as
teacher summaries, student summaries and
a range of activities to be completed in the
classroom. The Teacher's Club also enables
the teacher to track individual student
progress and performance throughout the
course. A Teacher's Forum allows sharing
of information and experiences with other
The student area allows the students to view
the comic-based teenage drama, the student
summaries and relevant worksheets.
The program is also available on
CD_ROM with accompanying teacher
manual and student activities.
The cost for using Climate Schools is based
on an annual subscription, which is calculat-
ed on the number of students within a school.
CLIMATE Schools: Alcohol Module
The CLIMATE program showed a con-
siderable improvement in harm minimisa-
tion for females than for students who
undertook standard alcohol prevention
programs delivered in schools. The same
program returned similar results for
males in the short-term, but consumption
patterns for males, unlike females, were
not sustained more than six months after
the program had been completed.
These programs suggest that potential
exists in schools to influence the alcohol
consumption patterns of young people.
However, it would be myopic to think that
longer-term solutions to current concerns
are removed from the broader social and
cultural context, and the legislative and
policy domains of government.
If the forces of education, preventative
medicine and government can combine in
common purpose with an agenda squarely
aimed at the welfare of young people, then
there is surely cause for hope in responding
more adequately to the long-term safety of
adolescents, particularly in the area of alco-
hol consumption and binge drinking.
1 Roche, Ann. M. Director, National Centre on
Education and Training on Addictions (NECTA).
Melbourne, 21-23 February, 2005. 'Thinking
Drinking: Achieving Cultural Change by 2020'.
2 National Survey of Secondary Students and
Sexual Health. Available at http://www.cur-
3 UNICEF. A league table of teenage births in
rich nations. Innocenti Report Card No. 3,
July 2001. Florence, Italy: UNICEF Innocenti
Research Centre, 2001. Available at http://www.
4 Australian Drug Foundation. Consultation on
Underage Drinking: Response to the Depart-
ment of Health and Ageing (October, 2004).
Available at http://www.adf.org.au/article.
5 McCarthy, P. (2007). DrinkWise: Alcohol
Consumption in Australia. © DrinkWise
6 Victorian Youth Alcohol and Drug Survey,
2002, Number 3. Melbourne: Premier's Drug
7 NHMRC (2001). Australian Alcohol Guide-
lines: Health Risks and Benefits. Canberra:
Commonwealth of Australia.
8 Australian Students Alcohol and Drug (AS-
SAD) Survey, 1999.
9 King (et al). Available at http://www.alcohol.
11 Australian Drug Foundation, opp. cit; page 3.
12 White, V & Haymn, J. Australian Secondary
Students' Use of Alcohol in 2005. National
Drug Strategy Monograph Series No. 55.
Canberra: Australian Government Depart-
ment of Health and Ageing.
13 Submission to the Community Affairs Com-
mittee, Department of the Senate in response
to the Inquiry into the Alcohol Toll Reduction
Bill, 2007. Reverend Dr Ray Cleary, CEO,
Anglicare, Victoria 20 March, 2008.
14 School Health and Alcohol Harm Reduction
Project (SHAHRP). Available at http://www.
15 CLIMATE Schools: Alcohol Module. Available
This article is an edited version of Dr Hine's
paper, 'Social Responsibility and Alcohol
Use in Adolescence', available in full in
Independence ONLINE on AHISA's website
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