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Scratch and Sniff Cards for Drug Education?

Jun 29, 2018

Dovetail are often contacted by workers who have been approached by external companies, promoting school drug education resources. Recently, we heard of a company offering "Scratch and Sniff" cards, which contain scents similar to illegal drugs. These cards are being marketed to schools as a way of helping young people to identify illegal drugs.  But are they effective? As with any school alcohol and drug prevention program, we consider the following three questions when considering a school alcohol and other drug prevention program:

  1. Does the program comply with the Federal Government's "Principles of School Drug Education?"
  2. Has the program been evaluated and found to change behaviour (not just "the students enjoyed it")
  3. Has the program been developed, endorsed or supported by a university or a government department like Queensland Health or Education Queensland?

If the answer is "no" to these questions, the program might not be appropriate, and in some cases, poorly designed school alcohol and drug education programs can backfire, and result in increased alcohol and other drug use and related harm.

If you are unsure about a school alcohol and other drug program, contact Dovetail and we'll be happy to help you decide if the program is suitable for your school.