There is an extensive body of literature on school-based drug education and drug prevention extending over several decades, which has contributed to understandings about the relative effectiveness of different program components. This literature comprises peer reviewed journal articles, grey literature which is typically made up of reports produced by governmental educational and health departments, and papers delivered during conferences. The quality of this literature varies. Given the extensive amount of literature available on school-based drug education and the varying quality of this literature, there is a need to adequately collate the information to define the components that contribute to effective drug education based on literature that is of acceptable quality and scope. This systematic review is bound by a set of criteria. By defining the dimension of this review, comparisons can be more readily made with previous literature and also enables readers to assess the quality and contribution that future studies provide to the field. The structure of this analysis involves: a description of the methodology used in the systematic review including criteria for inclusion, search method, and a summary of search results. Components of drug education that have the potential to impact on behaviour are then identified and discussed. These components are discussed under the main heading of: Timing and Programming Considerations; Content and Delivery; Teacher/Facilitator Skills; Dissemination; Research and Evaluation Issues.