Advocating for a harm-minimization approach to drug education in Australian schools

J Sch Nurs. 2006 Oct;22(5):259-63. doi: 10.1177/10598405060220050301.


The concept of using a harm-minimization approach to drug education in Australian schools has existed in both national and state government policy documents for over two decades. However, this approach appears to be ineffectively and inconsistently incorporated within the curriculum. Harm minimization emphasizes strategies that reduce the harms associated with drug use and prevent related health and social problems. Traditional drug education programs that promote abstinence as the only option may not be realistic and appear to have had limited success. School nurses in the state of Victoria have a significant role in improving both the understanding and adoption of this approach through advocacy, education, and their understanding of evidence-based practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology
  • Attitude to Health
  • Curriculum
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Harm Reduction*
  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Policy
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Models, Educational
  • Nurse's Role
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Patient Advocacy
  • Philosophy, Nursing
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • School Health Services / organization & administration*
  • School Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Victoria