Alcohol and other drug guidelines

Education about alcohol and other drugs

Whenever Police or other resource people provide education about alcohol and other drug use and abuse, the following guidelines should be followed:

  • Students should be given information only about drugs that are within their experience.
  • Students should not be shown or told about the equipment associated with alcohol and other drug use, or ways of using particular drugs.
  • Students should not be shown drug substances.
  • Lessons will incorporate effective pedagogy.

The document One-Day Workshops and One-Off Talks [PDF, 96KB] provides advice to improve some types of prevention activities that, although provided with good intentions, may actually be less effective, e.g. one-off events, scare tactics, and activities that only raise awareness rather than address risk factors.    

Further information

The following Ministry of Education resources provide useful information:

Prevention policies/activities in schools

To minimise the likelihood of students or staff being affected by alcohol and other drugs, each school can develop its own prevention guidelines and promote regular awareness-raising activities.

These prevention guidelines could include:

  • clear rules about cigarette, alcohol and drug use on school grounds or at school-sponsored events (sports contests, balls, hireage rules for school facilities, EOTC activities)
  • signaling to students that alcohol is not necessary to have a good time, and discouraging the normalisation of alcohol, for example by not supplying alcohol at school events
  • clear consequences, discipline and referral process if/when students break school rules (e.g. cigarette smoking, alcohol and other drug use)
  • empowerment for students to run their own anti-alcohol and other drug activities (e.g.Students Against Dangerous Driving [SADD])
  • regular and planned classroom-based alcohol and other drug education programmes (e.g.Choice).

School balls

School balls managed by school staff and students are generally very well run and are successful events. Any problems lie almost exclusively with the pre and after school ball functions.

This advice sheet (DOCX, 22KB) has been compiled from a range of suggestions from both educators and the New Zealand Police. It is not a definitive list, but a guide to assist you in your school ball preparations.

Response policies/activities in schools

To ensure consistency of response, each school should have clear procedures to follow when students or staff are affected by alcohol and other drugs, or break school rules about alcohol and other drugs.

The Ministry of Education guidelines, Promoting student health and wellbeing: A guide to drug education in schools (2012) [PDF], contains a flow chart showing a sample set of procedures.

School - Police response protocol

Schools and local Police are encouraged to develop and agree protocols about when and how Police will respond to potential or actual offending by young people related to alcohol and other drugs.

This could be done as part of the Partnership agreement (DOC, 83KB) on how the Police and school partner together in general.