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Alcohol & Other Drugs


Encounter Youth is the largest provider of alcohol & other drug education to secondary students in SA and we always aim to provide relevant, research-based and up-to-date information and services to young people. To this end, we offer holistic school seminars and provide helpful teacher resources.

Our Educational Approach

Encounter Youth Education takes a positive and holistic approach. We come alongside and support a school’s existing drug education program. When our seminars are a part of a wider program, it makes both your school’s program and our presentations more effective and more likely to promote lasting changes in your school community.

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (PDF) produced an excellent report that explored young people’s opinions on alcohol & other drug education. Among the findings, two things helped shape our approach. The research revealed that young people desire…

…drug education that was perceived to be balanced, ‘real’ and non-judgmental, with programs delivered by ‘outsiders’ (not teachers or those in positions of authority).”

…drug education that provided accurate information not skewed towards scare tactics to prevent young people from taking drugs.”

Supported by fact-based research, our approach focuses on the growing number of students across the country who are choosing not to drink alcohol or take other drugs. From this foundation, we address the realities that some students do drink at risky levels and others engage with drugs. We discuss strategies to reduce harm and to look after others if a night doesn’t go according to plan. Our approach is engaging and interactive yet void of scare tactics and sensationalism.

Young people should not be told off for being who they are … teenagers. They need honest, unbiased information without any hidden motives about the tough and often confusing choices they need to make. This is important when it comes to choices about Drugs and Alcohol. There is no better partner for this than Encounter Youth Education.”
Youth Development Officer, City of Burnside

Supporting Teachers

Our program is designed by registered teachers. Thus, it’s mapped to the Australian Curriculum and supports school’s pastoral care programs. We’re confident that our seminars will not only equip young people with important life skills but also add quality to a school’s educational offerings.

In addition to our seminars, we provide ongoing support to schools and teachers by keeping each school up-to-date with current research and trends. We also offer tailored advice and resources that can easily be incorporated into a school’s regular health classes and pastoral care programs.

We publish regular, engaging articles on our website’s blog that teachers can source freely. See below for some of the articles we recommend.

Recommended Articles from Our Education™ Blog

National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016

Ever wonder what’s really going on in Australia when it comes to alcohol & other drugs? Well, look no further! At the end of September, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) released a report of the detailed findings from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016. At Encounter Youth, we’re interested in what’s going on with young people and alcohol & other drugs and when we read the report, we were very encouraged and excited. Not only are more and more young people choosing not to drink but their use of other drugs is also on the decline! [Read More]

Secondary Supply Laws for South Australia

For a few years, South Australia was the only state without secondary supply laws. Since 2015, all other states have had strict laws that impose hefty fines to those that don’t adhere secondary supply laws. As of 18th December, 2017, changes have been made to South Australia’s Liquor Licensing Act 1997. And one of the major changes involves secondary supply. So what exactly is secondary supply? And how do these changes affect both parents and young people in South Australia? [Read More]

Young People and Drugs: What’s REALLY Happening?

Last week saw the release of the national data for the Australian Secondary Students’ Alcohol and other Drug (ASSAD) survey for 2014. This survey produces the most extensive statistics about young people and drugs in Australia, and what decisions they are making. Approximately 25,000 students aged 12-17 years participate in the survey every 3 years. At Encounter Youth, many of the students that we talk to in our alcohol & other drug education program tell us they are choosing not to drink. As such, we were excited to investigate this data to see if it matched up with our experience. So what decisions are young people making and are more choosing not to drink or use other drugs? [Read More]

Effective School Drug Education: What Does It Look Like?

“You need more images of the negative consequences of alcohol/other drug use.” “Some more scary stories will really hit home the consequences of doing the wrong thing.” “Include more about the consequences if things go wrong.” This is a snapshot of suggestions that Encounter Youth sometimes gets, particularly from teachers after they see our alcohol & other drug education program for the first time. The lack of scary stories and shock tactics, and having a limited focus on the negative consequences, are the most common criticisms we receive about our program. As it turns out, we intentionally do not use shock tactics, scary stories or fear-based approaches for a very good reason. [Read More]

Support for regional and disadvantaged schools

From 2018 to 2020, Encounter Youth are partnering with Variety – the Children’s Charity to offer our program to regional schools in SA without the usual travel fee. This will make alcohol and other drug (AOD) education more accessible for regional school communities in SA.

Variety SA’s support also increases the accessibility of our program for disadvantaged schools through a subsidy of the seminar cost. This is aimed at encouraging schools with disadvantaged students to take a holistic approach to AOD education.

Variety Logo


Students & Teachers


Highly informative and covered many elements of safety whilst also emphasising a balanced approach of having fun.”

Teacher, Sacred Heart College


If I ever did find myself in a ‘dangerous’ situation, I feel that I’d have more knowledge on how to approach it.”

Year 11 student, Kildare College