About #NotEvenOnce Projects

Teen Challenge Tasmania are very passionate about prevention and building fences for young people to be turned away from the top of the cliff.  For years now, Teen Challenge graduates have stood before thousands of Australian school children and told their personal story. To turn many young people away from the path they themselves chose. This is a very powerful deterent - peer teaching peer.

Teen Challenge Tasmania, has been working within North Tasmanian High Schools through our Connections Mentoring program, placing a significant, positive person with a student that needs support to make better choices in their lives. Sometimes the results are immediate, other times it takes a long time to help them build up their self-worth and believe in themselves.  

But one thing is for sure there is no such thing as a BAD KID, they are just kids, they need direction, they need love, time and they need education in life, as much as academic education.  Provide them these things and look out, because they will transform before your eyes and often they bring their friends right alongside them too.

So with our experience in mentoring young people and working coalface with those in addiction we have developed our "Not Even Once" Drug Prevention Projects in collaboration with the Dalgarno Institute.  Stage 1 rolled out in November 2015 into Tasmanian High Schools, Communities and Sporting Clubs with excellent results.

NEO17 Arndell.jpg

The success of the program has seen us invited to NSW and funded delivery of the program to High Schools in the Hawkesbury region, by the Windsor Police and Windsor RSL.  The results were excellent. #NotEvenOnce continues in NSW and is now working towards National deliveries.

We understand that a one-off, single seminar is not going to solve the issues young people face in the AOD space.  What we do know is that our coal face experience, with those in addiction brings a very "real life" aspect to this arena within schools.  As the external specialists, we are able to tie together all the schools have been teaching within their health program curriculums throughout the year and bring it to life for the students.  Suddenly, it becomes very believable, when you are listening to someone share their personal life journey, through and beyond addiction and it all started at an age and in a place just like the students in front of us.

We believe, the students need to be taken on a journey in conjunction with the schools existing health programs.  Our seminars are written in alignment with the Australian Curriculum Framework. Start as early as we can and then journey each year to the next level.  Bringing reality and latest "street" and research evidence and data to them to contemplate and retain for their decision processes in this space. Together with the schools we are building an incredibly powerful foundation for resilience within our young people.

NEO17 Kuyper.jpg

#NotEvenOnce Program Overview

#NotEvenOnce school projects, educate students in highly engaging, multi media, school seminars which include :

#NotEvenOnce 1.0 & 2.0: For year 7 & 8 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 .
  • Looks at foundational aspects for developing resiliency around the AOD issue, including areas of peer pressure, decision making and problem solving.
  • How drugs such as Alcohol, Cannabis, ICE, Ecstasy and other ATS can effect and impact on developing brains and bodies and includes tactile exercises to assist retention
  • What is being reported and encouraging critical thinking and research in this area 
  • What are some of the causation issues for people to try illicit drugs
  • Hear personal real life stories of addiction and coal face situations in our local suburbs from Teen Challenge graduates and workers.  
  • Latest scientific and medical evidence.

#NotEvenOnce 3.0 & 4.0: For year 10/11 students and follows the same pedagogy as #NotEvenOnce 1.0 & 2.0 – 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 personal and community perspective.

#NotEvenOnce 5.0 & 6.0: 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.
NEO17 Deloraine.jpg

Community seminars equip parents, teachers and communities similarly however with a deeper immersion including signs, causes and strategies to name a few.

We constantly evaluate and modify our presentations to move with the latest data, AOD trends and social impacts.  We are currently working with the University of Sydney to evaluate and report on 2017 evaluation data to date.

Here's evaluation data and feedback on the effectiveness of the program in 2015 & 2016:

TAS #NotEvenOnce Delivery Results 2016

  • Total students indicating not likely to use alcohol prior to seminar = 37%
  • Total students indicating not likely to use illicit drugs prior to seminar = 82%

Alcohol

  • Total students indicating likely alcohol use before seminar = 63.2% 
  • Total students indicating likely alcohol use after seminar = 47.4% 
  • Students that indicated a Positive shift away from initial use indication of being likely to use alcohol before the seminar 68% 
  • Students that indicated a decision Shift to Abstinence (not likely at all) from likely to use alcohol after seminar = 24.2%

Illicit Drugs

  • Total students indicating likely illicit drug use before seminar = 18.2% 
  • Total students indicating likely illicit drug use after seminar = 12.4% 
  • Students that indicated a Positive shift away from initial use indication of being likely to use illicit drugs before the seminar = 68.4% 
  • Students that indicated a decision Shift to Abstinence (not likely at all) from likely to use illicit drugs after seminar = 44.7% 

Students Response/Rating of Seminar

  • Message & Data (content/data) = 4 out of 5
  • Presenters = 4 out of 5
  • Media/style/format = 3.7 out of 5

Feedback

  • "Thank you for coming, it was very good, I learnt heaps" Year 10 student
  • "The presenters were awesome" Year 10 student
  • "Brilliant presentation well rounded especially the handling of self-esteem objections at the end" Teachers Aide
  • "I really liked how you presented it in a fun & modern way" Year 7 student
  • "The seminar was good and interactive and gave a good message" Year 7 student
  • "I liked it, Awesome" Year 7 student
  • "It was very powerful" Year 7 student
  • "It will help us make a good choice" Year 7 student
  • "A lot of information of great use" Year 9 student
  • "Cheery & very serious about the matter, very good" Year 9 student
  • "I found the whole seminar brilliant, it's the best one I've seen in this space.  I especially liked how you weren't all doom and gloom.  You wrapped it up well, giving kids hope in this area.  Your focus on resilience really gave them options, that life isn't always easy but here's ways you can work through it." Teacher

Discussions

Following presentations many questions were taken and conversation held with students and teachers.  A few stand outs were:

  • Students were very curious as to our graduates lives and how they were connecting with family now. There was a genuine concern for them and many students congratulated and encouraged our graduates to keep fighting to stay sober and clean. Genuine empathy was expressed by many.
  • One teacher spoke to us afterwards, he has two sons just entered adolescence and he said he was shaking when he heard the examples of what is happening to young people in our local suburbs and how close his own boys were to the ages of the kids in the stories.  He was going home to speak with his son’s about what he had heard and learnt during the seminar
  • A week later a presenter was back in one of the schools for another event - approx 15 year 7 students, individually and in groups stopped her and thanked her for coming and speaking to them the week before.  When asked what they remembered of the message although each different, the information was being repeated back almost verbatim as delivered.
  • Several students expressed the impact ICE use had on their own family members either by their own use or someone else.  The kids were righteously angry about the unfairness of the consequences and the toll it took on themselves and their family.  They were also very compassionate about the person in addiction also.
  • Teachers were very grateful for the opportunity to have NEO come to their school. Many had already heard about the program from peers and so when they had seen it for themselves they expressed their congratulations on the way the program was constructed and delivered.  As one teacher expressed “we are equipped to deal with alcohol and tobacco but ICE and Cannabis and the other drugs is a whole new ball game and we are too far behind. This is exactly what we need”
  • All participating Tasmanian Schools requested NEO come back the following year

NSW #NotEvenOnce Delivery Results 2016

  • Total students indicating not likely to use alcohol prior to seminar = 39.2%
  • Total students indicating not likely to use illicit drugs prior to seminar = 83%

Alcohol

  • Total students indicating likely alcohol use before seminar = 61% 
  • Total students indicating likely alcohol use after seminar = 48% 
  • Students that indicated a Positive shift away from initial use indication of being likely to use alcohol before the seminar = 59.9% 
  • Students that indicated a decision Shift to Abstinence (not likely at all) from likely to use alcohol after seminar = 22.4% 

Illicit Drugs

  • Total students indicating likely illicit drug use before seminar = 17% 
  • Total students indicating likely illicit drug use after seminar = 12.6% 
  • Students that indicated a Positive shift away from initial use indication of being likely to use illicit drugs before the seminar = 65.6% 
  • Students that indicated a decision Shift to Abstinence (not likely at all) from likely to use illicit drugs after seminar = 33.7% 

Teachers Responses/Rating of Seminar

  • Information & Data Content = 5.6 out of 6
  • Presenters  = 5.6 out of 6
  • Presentation (media/style/format) = 5.4 out of 6
  • Student Engagement = 5.2 out of 6

Students Response/Rating of Seminar

  • Message & Data (content/data) = 4 out of 5
  • Presenters = 4 out of 5
  • Media/style/format = 3.5 out of 5

Interventions

There were 3 students that sought help through our feedback forms following the seminars. The students have been connected within the schools support system to provide further help in this area.  One case Teen Challenge attended the school and spoke with the student and then connected student back into school support.

Feedback samples

  • "the information was good, it makes you think about your decisions you may make in the future. It was interesting" year 9 student
  • "I think it was fantastic and it helped me reinforce my knowledge about drugs" Year 7
  • "Very good I like how they were so deeply into what they were saying" Year 10
  • "I usually have a hard time focussing but this had my whole attention" Year 8
  • "it was good that people could talk about these types of things" Year 8
  • "keep the program going and go to a wider audience" Year 9
  • "Just wanted to say that talking about your experiences was a very brave thing to do!! Good Job!! Thanks for coming today. AWESOME JOB GUYS TNX" Year 9
  • "this hit me hard" Year 10
  • "Excellent presentation. Very timely for some of these kids - hope they listened.  One of the best presentations I have attended." Support Teacher/Y9 Advisor
  • "Realistic content.  Tell them how it is!" Welfare Team/Teacher
  • " I like the science/biology link - very useful." Teacher
  • "Great use of current data and information.  Real life experiences always help students understand.  Students were thoroughly engaged." Teacher
  • "Powerful messages delivered. Good to see we are not "beating around the bush" with message" PDHPE Teacher

Discussion - During the seminars we held many discussions with students and teachers the following are stand outs:

  • A student spoke candidly with a presenter about his own experimentation with drugs and the severe adverse effects he experienced as a result he has not touched another drug again and is determined to become a youth worker and help other young people not do what he did.
  • A student spoke with another presenter to discuss the drug use of a close friend that she has had to distance herself from.  The student was able to express her concerns and discussions were had around healthy boundaries and what to say if she did meet that friend again that may help her friend seek assistance
  • A student spoke about a family member that was on ICE and the effect it was having on their family and how she can recognise he is trying to manipulate others to use also
  • A teacher discussed his own families struggles with alcohol and impact on relationships and his passion to help kids realise the impact alcohol can have
  • A teacher approached #NEO team member and explained how great the information was and delivered by people that were really in the field first hand.  He finds as a teacher that this topic is difficult to teach kids and for them to accept from teachers the information as they don't necessarily accept the teachers credibility in doing so in this space.  He was relieved that we had come in to do this and truly hoped we continue
  • Numerous discussions were had with teachers on a similar vein - relief to have experienced presenters delivering to the students and having people who have been in addiction share their stories.  It is in their opinion more believable and the students were engrossed in the personal stories particularly the local graduates
  • Whilst collecting feedback sheets presenters often ask two questions - what did you learn or pick up from today and what was a highlight - it was very impressive to actually hear the retention of the material especially when quizzed deeper by the presenter and the personal stories were a highlight.  Another popular discussion point was they had no idea the damage that can result in the brain and impact alcohol and drugs can have
  • Teacher with own children in the school discussed how pleased he was we had delivered this and the kids heard the message particularly that the majority of students are not using and that they had a choice in this area - not using was a valid option.  He expressed that some programs he has seen indicate that its inevitable they will use and he was pleased with a balance to that message
  • also encouraging was the students genuine concern for the graduates. They often reached out to thank them for sharing and to offer encouragement to continue on their fight to stay sober

TAS #NotEvenOnce Delivery Results 2015*

  • Total students indicating not likely to use alcohol and/or illicit drugs prior to seminar = 57%
  • Total students indicating likely alcohol and/or illicit drugs use before seminar = 42.6%
  • Total students indicating likely alcohol and/or illicit drug use after seminar = 36.1% 
  • Students that indicated a Positive shift away from initial use indication of being likely to use alcohol and/or illicit drugs before the seminar 48.6% 
  • Students that indicated a decision Shift to Abstinence (not likely at all) from likely to use alcohol and/or illicit drug use after seminar = 20.3% 

*Early evaluations of #NotEvenOnce combined alcohol and illicit drug use into the same question before and after the seminar.  In 2016 we amended evaluations to show separate results for alcohol and illicit drugs.

Students Response/Rating of Seminar

  • Message & Data (content/data) = 3.7 out of 5
  • Presenters = 3.7 out of 5
  • Media/style/format = 3.2 out of 5

Feedback

  • "The information provided was very educational. Definitely gave an insight into what the effects are." Year 10 student
  • "The information was very eye opening." Year 10 student
  • "I thought it gave me a greater understanding of the effects of drugs and alcohol." Year 9 student
  • "It was good they were telling us "things you don't hear about" Year 9 student
  • "The info was backed really well and for those who knew nothing about it would know a lot more now." Year 8 student
  • "The info really targeted my heart.  In the past week I have told a few of my friends what drugs are doing to their brains and body." Year 8 student
  • "I thought it was very good and if anybody sat through it, they would come out with a lot of good information." Year 7 student
NEO17 Adam.jpg

For information on delivering #NotEvenOnce in your school, sporting club or community please complete the form below and we will be happy to discuss.

Name *
Name
Phone *
Phone

#NotEvenOnce Proudly Sponsored by