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OurFutures: An online program for teachers and students

This resource is by Our Futures Institute

OurFutures is an online alcohol and other drug education program that can be implemented within the school health curriculum. It's based on a social influence approach and uses cartoon storylines to engage students.

School years: 9–10

Summary: The OurFutures: Cannabis & Psychostimulants Module was developed for 14-17 year olds and aims to prevent and reduce the use of cannabis and including crystal methamphetamine ('ice'), and related harms.

This curriculum-aligned online program is designed to be administered by teachers within classrooms. The program involves 6 x 45-minute lessons, each with two components:

  • A 20-minute computer-based component.
  • Teacher facilitated activities.

No specialist teacher training is required.

Designed to be implemented within the school health curriculum, OurFutures is based on a social influence approach to prevention and uses cartoon storylines to engage and maintain student interest and involvement.

Students follow six episodes of an online cartoon-based drama about teenagers and their experiences. Through the storyline, students learn different drug classifications and their effects, the short and long-term consequences of cannabis and psychostimulants, how to identify drug-related risks and stay safe, communication styles and being problem-solving skills, legal implications of drug use, and how to get help. Stop & Think activities are embedded in the cartoons and each episode ends with a short quiz to assess and consolidate learning. The class and homework activities are designed to reinforce the material taught in the cartoon and encourage students to apply the preventative messages and practice skills. Feedback indicates that teachers and students enjoy the program, and implementation within the classroom environment is highly feasible.

Developers: This resource was developed by researchers formerly based at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre and the National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of New South Wales, and currently based at the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of Sydney.

Year: Originally developed in 2007. Last reviewed in 2021.

Costs: Click here for information about OurFutures subscription prices.

Evidence baseThis resource has been evaluated in one peer-reviewed randomised controlled trial. See reference below:

Page last reviewed: Tuesday, 30 May 2023