DRUG & ALCOHOL POLICY

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1 DRUG & ALCOHOL POLICY Rationale: Koonung Secondary College (KSC) has an interest in the health, personal and legal wellbeing of its students and staff. There is no clear dividing line between the responsibility of the home and the school. These guidelines apply when a student s actions are likely to affect the welfare or reputation of other members of the school community within the limits imposed by legislation. This policy is in response to the Federal Government s harm minimization strategies. The school recognizes that the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs can impair individual wellbeing and can also interfere with students' ability to learn and staff's ability to teach. In addition, student alcohol and other drug use, either on school property or at school events, interferes with academic and extracurricular interests of other students and staff. In accordance with the above, Koonung Secondary College has adopted protocols to address staff response to student tobacco, alcohol and other drug use, and the attendant problems. Aims: To: support the whole school approach to reducing drug use and associated harm document the schools response to drug related incidents provide support for students involved in unsanctioned drug use DEFINITIONS: The World Health Organisation (WHO) states: Health is the extent to which an individual or group is able, on the one hand, to realize aspirations and satisfy needs; and on the other, to change or cope with the environment. A drug is: any substance, with the exception of food and water, which, when taken into the body, alters its function physically and/or psychologically. (WHO, 1982) This definition includes all medications and drugs of addiction or dependence such as caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, steroids, amphetamines, and inhaled solvents-some of which are legal and others illegal.

2 REFERENCE GUIDE: Schools Policy and Advisory Guide: Alcohol Schools Policy and Advisory Guide: Drug Use The Australian Drug Foundation Education and Training Reform Act 2006 Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 IMPLEMENTATION A POLICY This policy has two principal goals: 1. A program designed to promote harm minimisation and prevent tobacco, alcohol and other drug problems. 2. Procedures. Harm Minimisation The approach adopted by the Australian Government acknowledges that: In order to protect adolescents from drug related harm (particularly to the developing adolescent brain), health experts strongly advise abstinence from alcohol and other drugs Nevertheless, the use and abuse of drugs are facts of life in today s society Adults and young people use and abuse drugs for a number of complex reasons. KSC supports individuals who choose not to use alcohol and other drugs. Harm minimisation does not condone or encourage drug use. It aims to promote healthier alternative behaviours and to reduce the risks associated with drug use. It involves a range of strategies including abstinence, prevention, early intervention, specialist treatment, control of supply and safer drug usage. B PROCEDURES Medications and Prescription Drugs Where a student needs to use any medications and prescription drugs during school related activities, parents should liaise with the school nurse and the teacher in charge of relevant activities to establish a suitable management protocol. As part of this protocol, prescribed drugs must neither be misused nor supplied to another student. Caution should always be exercised when taking any medication. Medication should only be used by the person for whom it was prescribed Medication should only be taken for the purpose for which it was intended The dosage would be strictly adhered to; over medicating could have serious, if not fatal, implications. Smoking The law does not permit those under 18 years of age to buy tobacco products. In keeping with KSC s status as a smoke free environment, students may neither possess nor use tobacco products. Staff, parents and visitors are also required to abstain from smoking on premises which are under control of the school

3 Alcohol The misuse of alcohol leads to considerable social dislocation and illness in our community; not least on the roads. Health experts advise us that adolescents should delay their introduction to alcohol as late as possible to allow the brain to develop normally. The law does not permit alcohol to be consumed in licensed premises, public places or private residences by those under the age of 18 years, unless they are under the direct supervision of a parent, guardian, carer or other responsible adult to whom parents have given documented consent. Alcohol at School Functions It is offensive for any member of the school community to be under the influence of alcohol while associated with a School activity. Students may neither possess nor consume alcohol while associated with a school activity. (see above section for events where parents are present and alcohol may be available). Cannabis and Other Illegal Drugs The only safe use of any drug is NO USE. The potential health effects of drugs such as alcohol and tobacco, as well as those of inhalants and illegal drugs, are well documented. An experiment with drugs is an experiment with one s health, safety and mental wellbeing. There is growing evidence that the use of illicit drugs can produce an acute psychosis in some individuals up to 10 years later. A number of other substances are potentially dangerous even though they are not technically illegal. These include everyday products such as solvents and some of the newer designer drugs. No member of the school is to possess, use or supply unprescribed drugs, unless parent or guardian permission is given. Support Services for Students Who Misuse Any Substance In some cases, the misuse of drugs can be most effectively managed by counselling. Help for drug misuse is offered within the school s Wellbeing team. The counsellors are available to discuss any concern that a member of the school community may be misusing drugs. The counsellors will hold such confidences within the limits of the law. (An exception will be if someone s safety is at serious risk.) Some cases may warrant the involvement of professionals from outside the school. Breach and Consequence When a student misuses a drug, the school, within the limits imposed by legislation, must resolve conflicting interests to: Protect the wellbeing, health and safety of all other members of the school community Protect the health and emotional wellbeing of the offender Maintain the standards expected by our wider school community Protect the reputation of the school, and Offer an opportunity to redeem the behaviour. Consequences of Breaches Depending on the severity, these range from counseling and detention, loss of privileges including leadership positions and attending excursions and incursions, probation, suspension and expulsion. The school may also be required, by law, to contact the police. When illicit drugs are used, the school will: Notify the parents/guardians of students involved, Contact the North East Victorian Director Take disciplinary action, Provide the student with counselling.

4 If a staff member forms the belief that a student has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm as a result of physical injury and the child's parents or caregivers have not protected or are unlikely to protect the child from harm of that type, then the school policy on mandatory reporting must be followed.

5 Appendices Contact details for welfare and support agencies Police (Emergency) and Ambulance Phone: 000 Box Hill Police Phone: Box Hill Hospital Phone: Poisons Information Centre Phone: (24 hours a day/7 days a week) Eastern Drug & Alcohol Service Information, advice & counselling Phone: Emergency number for overdose assistance: 000 Department of Human Services Phone: (Victoria) National: (interstate and overseas) Whitehorse Community Health Service Needle Exchange, Social Work Phone: Youth ConneXions (City of Whitehorse) Counselling & advice on drugs & alcohol Phone: QUIT - Victorian Smoking and Health Program Phone: (Quitline) Reach Out For Kids Support, counseling & advice for teenagers with social & emotional problems Phone: Australian Drug Foundation Information & education Phone: Al Anon Family Groups and Alateen Community support and self-help for relatives and friends of alcoholics Phone: (1300 ALANON) After Hours: (Lorraine) Narcotics Anonymous Self-help group for those addicted to drugs Phone: (Victoria) (National) Eastern Health. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Psychiatric assessment, crisis management, parent & family therapy Phone: Direct Line Direct Line is a free telephone-counselling service, which operates 24 hours a day. It provides confidential advice and information to people concerned about alcohol or drug problems. Referrals to drug treatment services can also be arranged. Phone: School Counsellor Phone: U:\Data\POLICY & PROCEDURES\SCHOOL POLICIES\Events and Incursions Policy 9/09/2014

6 EVALUATION This policy will be reviewed as part of the school s three-year review cycle. Ratification dates: Policy Committee July 2013 College Council July 2013 Next Review 2016 U:\Data\POLICY & PROCEDURES\SCHOOL POLICIES\Events and Incursions Policy 9/09/2014

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