Why Prevention is Best Practice

Demand Reduction - Priority One 
(Best Practice – Deny/Delay Uptake!)

We express deep concern at the high price paid by society and by individuals and their families as a result of the world drug problem, and pay special tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives and those who dedicate themselves to addressing and countering the world drug problem…

We commit to safeguarding our future and ensuring that no one affected by the world drug problem is left behind by enhancing our efforts to bridge the gaps in addressing the persistent and emerging trends and challenges through the implementation of balanced, integrated, comprehensive, multidisciplinary and scientific evidence-based responses to the world drug problem, placing the safety, health and well-being of all members of society, in particular our youth and children, at the centre of our efforts… 

UNODC – Commission On Narcotic Drugs – Vienna: 2019 Ministerial Declaration (page 3 & 5)

Families and particularly children, should never, ever be casualties of drug use, by anyone. 

It certainly is a gross injustice and heinous social irresponsibility to have policies that increase demand for, and/or access to, illicit drugs which facilitate the costly harms not easily repaired. 

The mantra that we ‘cannot arrest our way out of the drug problem’ is true. However, we also understand that we most definitely will not be able to ‘treat our way out of the drug problem’ either. 

There must be a health, education and legal approach, working in concert and that focuses on demand reduction, prevention and recovery from drug use. This journey approach that properly harnesses the three pillars of the National Drug Strategy – Demand Reduction – Supply Reduction – Harm Reduction, for the purpose of helping build a resilient culture that doesn’t need or want drugs, will see the healthy, productive and safe culture the United Nations Office of Drugs & Crime, and the World Health Organisation are pursuing.  


'There is no credible voice in the literature that promotes or defends early uptake of alcohol or other drugs, as there is no safe drug use at all, of any drug, for the developing brain 0-26/32 years of age. And whilst not using any drug is not the only option, it is the best practice option for this vital stage of development of the young. As proactive and protective agents of children’s development we seek to afford and/or provide all children, their parents, care-givers or significant others, with as many best practice delaying/denying uptake mechanisms, vehicles and options as possible – Health Care Professionals and Families Must Focus on Youth Substance Use Prevention.

Individuals, groups and/or organisations that seek to permit, promote or otherwise enable young people to engage with psychotropic toxins at this vulnerable stage are not only denying best health practice, but are also contravening United Nations Conventions and Guidelines.

United Nations Economic and Social Council: Commission on Narcotic Drugs – Fifty-ninth session Vienna, March 2016: Operational recommendations on demand reduction and related measures, including prevention and treatment, as well as other health-related issues (p 5.)

We reiterate our commitment to promote the health, welfare and well-being of all individuals, families, communities and society as a whole, and facilitate healthy lifestyles through effective, comprehensive, scientific evidence-based demand reduction initiatives at all levels, covering, in accordance with national legislation and the three international drug control conventions, prevention, early intervention, treatment, care, recovery, rehabilitation and social reintegration measures, as well as initiatives and measures aimed at minimizing the adverse public health and social consequences of drug abuse, and we recommend the following measures:

Prevention of drug abuse

  1. Take effective and practical primary prevention measures that protect people, in particular children and youth, from drug use initiation by providing them with accurate information about the risks of drug abuse, by promoting skills and opportunities to choose healthy lifestyles and develop supportive parenting and healthy social environments and by ensuring equal access to education and vocational training;
  2. Also take effective and practical measures to prevent progression to severe drug use disorders through appropriately targeted early interventions for people at risk of such progression;
  3. Increase the availability, coverage and quality of scientific evidence-based prevention measures and tools that target relevant age and risk groups in multiple settings, reaching youth in school as well as out of school, among others, through drug abuse prevention programmes and public awareness-raising campaigns, including by using the Internet, social media and other online platforms, develop and implement prevention curricula and early intervention programmes for use in the education system at all levels, as well as in vocational training, including in the workplace, and enhance the capacity of teachers and other relevant professionals to provide or recommend counselling, prevention and care services; (UNGASS – 2016)

University of Queensland drugs expert Jake Najman said information given to students on drugs should not be a “half an hour school lesson”. Professor Najman said governments needed to invest in developing intensive, long-term drug education for students. “It’s a much more systematic problem that needs real commitment and not just a headline saying, ‘Don’t do it’,” he said. 

23 February 2018, Brisbane Times

We couldn’t agree more; that’s why we had developed our ‘all of school’ incursions and curriculum, along with our ‘all of community’ education seminars – including sporting clubs, parents, community leaders and policy makers! Changing the cultural narrative on drug use is a long game, in which the Dalgarno Institute has been a key stakeholder for over 150 years. Our consistent demand reduction and proactive prevention messaging and resources, have been effective in doing just that, when fully engaged by the community.


Dear Learning Facilitator,

The Dalgarno Institute, a non profit, public interest community based organisation, have over a 150 years experience in providing proactive and protective resources and education options on alcohol and other drug issues to the Australian community.

We currently have an exciting new schools based initiative:

New Offering:
Mental Health issues in the emerging generation is a growing and deeply concerning issue.
Many factors and elements contribute to this growing public and personal health crisis, including emotional deficits, omissions and various traumas of abuse and neglect. However, one factor that has both a disturbing, and all too often irreversible impact on mental health and wellbeing, is the alcohol and other drug factor (AOD).
As some ‘grown ups’ clamour for greater liberalization of drug laws and the egregious example to the emerging generation that brings, students often continue to look to these models as a cue, not merely from a poor behavioural choices aspect, but all too often the model of self-medication being passively and actively foisted on the developing child.
All humans were designed for Reward and Exploration, but this pattern is so easily hijacked by Rebellion and Experimentation counterfeits, that often are unwittingly reinforced by inaccurate cultural memes, like… ‘all kids are gunna rebel, can’t do a thing about it!’
The United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC) continues to promote prevention and demand reduction for not only children (up to 18 years of age) but those still in developing brain stage – 12 to 30 years of age) The World Health Organisations (W.H.O) Comprehensive Mental Health Plan 2013-2030also seeks to give young people the best chance to develop sound mental health frameworks, of which substance use has no place.

As part of the Dalgarno Institutes educational offerings (alongside our Humpty Dumpty Dilemma Resiliency Project) we have developed a number of key workshop/seminars on AOD and Mental Healthfor your teachers and students. Including…

  • Mental Health in a Bottle???
  • Which substance will help my ‘mental health’, Hmmm, let’s try…?

These workshops can be used at any time, but best deployed during,

  • RUOK Week (September)
  • Mental Health Awareness Month (October)

Seminar options: (Three Key Base Products Numbers of Variables)

No Brainer: For year 7,8 or 9 students and is a basic introduction to alcohol and other drugs that compliments the ‘I Wish I Never...’ curriculum. Content covers

  • Overview of some of The What – The How – The Why of drug use.
  • Specific and intensive focus on specifically how different drugs impact the body and brain and includes tactile exercises to assist retention.
  • Drugs focused on in this seminar/s are Alcohol, Cannabis, ICE, Ecstasy and other ATS.
  • Looks at foundational aspects for developing resiliency around the AOD issue.

Ripped Off: For year 10/11 students and follows the same pedagogy as NO Brainer – However, content focuses on

  • Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) use and the issues and the impact on the natural environment and climate change.
  • AOD use and the issues of social justice and responsibility in both the local and global community.
  • That global citizenship is about ensuring justice for the marginalised and vulnerable on the planet, particularly the poor and children and understanding of what drug use does to those key demographics.
  • Continues to focus on resiliency from a community perspective.

Humpty Dumpty Dilemma: For year 11 and 12 students. Content focuses on

  • Heads UP’ for students getting ready to step into the ‘unregulated’ world (outside school).
  • Looks more closely at resiliency issues and decision making, including potential psycho-social ‘anchors’.
  • Challenges the thinking of students to develop logical and evidence based frameworks for decision making around AOD issues in often complex, yet ill-conceived peer and boundary-less environments.
  • Builds on resiliency issues addressed in previous seminars.

Additional Options:

  • Bouncing Back Parent Evenings: Seminar time up to 90 minutes. Normal cost is $550 (GST inc) for the evening regardless of numbers.
  • Changing the Narrative – (Fence Building) Community Seminar Events: Focusing on both shifting and empowering communities to become more Resilient,  proactive and preventative around the AOD issue. Engages the audience in collaborative discussion and potential strategy building for Demand Reduction and Prevention processes.

As of July 1st 2022, school seminars cost $660 per 45 -100 minute seminar for up to 150 students at a time. If more than 150 students, two seminars will need to be conducted at a total cost of $1100. Three seminars in one day in same location will only cost $1320 (NB: One free incursion seminar included in ‘I wish I never...’ DVD Curriculum Package deal as per above). Depending on school financial capacity, a gold coin option may be negotiated if necessary.

Sincerely, The NO Brainer Education Team


“Resilient communities don’t use drugs – Resilient families don’t want them!”

"Young people have a right to grow up in a society where they are protected from pressures to drink and from the harm done by alcohol [and other drugs]." 

World Health Organisation

To provide Primary Prevention, Demand Reduction and Harm Prevention, focused resources that can be delivered to schools, communities, sporting clubs and parents/families by The Dalgarno Institute (and/or other trained and designated facilitators, licensees or other partner agencies). All scientific and academic data posits conclusively that any substance use is detrimental to the developing brain of children and adolescents (up to 25-28 y.o) clearly stating that at this formative stage of brain development there is NO safe level of alcohol or other drug use – So, not using at all (or at the very least delaying uptake) is the safest and best option and should be aggressively and consistently promoted across the community!

The latest National Drug Strategy 2017-26, now puts Demand Reduction as the priority!

The strategy states that “Harm Minimisation includes a range of approaches to help prevent and reduce drug related problems…including a focus on abstinence-oriented strategies... [Harm minimisation] policy approach does not condone drug use.” (page 6)

The N.D.S goes on to say…

“Prevention of uptake reduces personal, family and community harms, allow better use of health and law enforcement resources, generates substantial social and economic benefits and produces a healthier workforce. Demand Reduction strategies that prevent drug use are more cost effective than treating established drug-related problems…Strategies that delay the onset of use prevent longer term harms and costs to the community.” (page 8) 

Evidence in the market place, suggests that the imperative of demand reduction and prevention focused model of education for the under 25 group is difficult to locate and/or access; we seek to provide that option through direct delivery or referral to other Demand Reduction and Primary Prevention focused agencies and licensees in our Coalition.

“Why do nations schedule drugs?...Nations schedule psychoactive drugs because we revere this three-pound organ (of our brain) differently than any other part of our  body. It is the repository of our humanity. It is the place that enables us to write poetry and to do theater, to conjure up calculus and send rockets to Pluto three billion miles away, and to create iPhone and 3D computer printing. And that is the magnificence of the human brain.

Drugs can influence [the brain] adversely. So, this is not a war on drugs – this is a defence of our brains, the ultimate source of humanity!”

Dr Bertha Madras, Professor of Addiction Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

‘for further enquiries or to book a seminar click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


"Thanks so much for the sensational sessions you guys ran for our year 8 students last week. They had a huge impact on some of our students and brought the truth into light about the lies our students are fed through the media, marketing and society in general... We ran a Binge Drinking Seminar as a part of our 'Year 10 Resiliency Day'; The No Brainer resources are sensational. We used the recent "Don't turn your night out into a nightmare" TV adds to get the kids thinking of the consequences of alcohol abuse to kick off and then worked through the worksheets, postcards for our newly elected State Politician and the pledge poster. Well done Dalgarno, the resources really help to generate discussion and the students remembered the key themes from your session last year….Thanks for the effort you put into these resources, they will help to save some of our precious young people's lives. (Private School - Peninsula)

"I was overjoyed with the wonderful presentation you gave my year 10 group of students yesterday, and from the [student] feedback it went over very well indeed The Students were still talking about it days later!" (Private School - Inner northern suburbs)

"As college chaplain it was a dream come true to have The Dalgarno Institute and the No Brainer-alcohol and other drugs seminar presented here with our year 8's. Not only were the seminars highly informative but they were also engaging and thought provoking for our students and staff. The presenter was highly passionate, well versed in the subject matter and inspiring... I personally enjoyed presenting the follow up session provided in the 'NO Brainer' Kit with students and felt that they were well received. The highlights were students telling me things that they never knew about alcohol and other drugs and seeing them writing out their pledges". (Public School South eastern suburbs)



For further and full overview of program please feel free to download the attached PDF.

If you wish to save the PDF for printing you can do so by using the Download Icon on the resulting PDF display


right clicking on the following link and selecting 'Save Link' 

'Alcohol & Other Drug Education Prospectus'


This is what you will find on the NoBrainer Website

NoBrainer Education
Find a range of teaching/learning as well as coaching tools for educators of all types. Assisting you to build resilience into your community/school/family setting and better understand best-practice around AOD issues
NoBrainer Resources
Find here a range of resources that you can connect with to help you navigate many of the issues of AOD Use
NoBrainer News
Find out what is happening in the world of alcohol & other drugs, Lots of useful articles for you to read.
NoBrainer Videos
Check out our selection of video clips on various AOD issues to assist you in getting better perspective