Publication Detail

Midford, R., Wilkes, D. and Young, D., J. (2005). Evaluation of the In Touch Training Program for the Management of Alcohol and Other Drug Use Issues in Schools. Journal of Drug Education, 35, (1), pp. 1-14. [RJ457]

In Touch is a professional training program designed to develop staff skills and support structures, so as to enable schools to manage alcohol and other drug (AOD) matters in a co-ordinated manner that maximises beneficial outcomes for at risk students, whilst at the same time maintaining school discipline and community relationships. This study is an evaluation of the impact of the program on alcohol and other drug (AOD) related knowledge, attitudes and activity of participating school staff and on AOD management practice in their schools. Data from 53 intervention participants and 21 controls were compared at pre and post intervention. These data indicated a 46% increase in AOD knowledge among those who participated In Touch training. Attitudes favourable to integrated, supportive management of AOD issues also increased significantly in this group, as did desirable practice. However, change in school practice was limited. Significantly more schools whose staff participated in In Touch training had a written drug policy at post intervention, but schools’ usual responses to AOD related incidents were substantially the same. These findings indicate that professional training on the management of AOD matters can change the understanding and practice of individual staff, but if school structures and practice are to be substantially influenced, a broader program is required.

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