Flinders Investigators Public Lecture Series: Preventing Drug Problems among Young People

June 2016

Professor Ann Roche recently presented a Flinders Investigators Lecture titled ‘Preventing Drug Problems among Young People’ as part of Flinders University’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. The lecture was well attended by more than 100 people from various backgrounds including government representatives, frontline workers, educational professionals, law enforcement personnel, service providers, students and community members.

Ann’s lecture detailed current and changing patterns of alcohol and drug use by young people, identified some of the factors driving these changes, speculated about emerging trends, and highlighted effective prevention strategies. She demystified the myths surrounding young people and drugs by drawing on evidence gathered from NCETA’s work on the epidemiology of young people’s drug use and from the various studies we have undertaken that shed light on the complex array of factors that both contribute to drug use and that may effectively ameliorate problematic behaviours.

The lecture highlighted that, contrary to common media depictions, risky alcohol and drug related behaviours of young people have generally decreased in recent years. However, it also emphasised that some groups of young people are particularly vulnerable to problems associated with alcohol and drugs, and some substances are inherently more risky than others. The characteristics and features of vulnerable groups, and effective interventions to prevent or minimise the harms associated with alcohol and drugs were highlighted.

View Online: the lecture is available online and may be viewed here