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Drug education: Past approaches and future possibilities
by John MacDonald

Youth Studies Australia, v.18, n.1, pp.11-15

In a social climate where new drug treatment options are being examined and the appropriateness of some of our drug laws is being questioned, this paper looks at early and contemporary models of drug education and critiques their performance. The author suggests that possible future directions for drug education should include using a wider range of subject areas to examine issues relevant to drug education, and broadening the welfare practices of schools and teachers to support positive student development.

Connexions: A program of Jesuit Social Services, an integrated service for marginalised young people
by David Murray, Rob Ellis, Jane Enter and Clare Richards

Youth Studies Australia, v.18, n.1, pp.16-22

According to a recent survey, homeless young people have a high incidence of mental illness and substance misuse. The absence of suitable treatment options for young people with these coexisting problems led to the development of a 'holistic' treatment approach founded on community youth work practice rather than on traditional mental health drug treatment practice. The Connexions program is an innovative response to recent calls from service users and practitioners alike for a more integrated approach to providing services to marginalised young people.

Intox Out of Tune: An innovative school-based drug intervention
by Jillian Ryan, Rae Conway and Greg Fairbrother

Youth Studies Australia, v.18, n.1, pp.23-28

This initiative sought to harness the power of popular music in conveying alcohol misuse messages to school students. The project involved an interactive educational session and then required students to write an original composition using knowledge gained from the session. An entry from each school was performed at a concert. Surveys indicated that the generation of alcohol misuse messages by students in a form which is compelling to their peers resulted in improved student knowledge about alcohol consumption and binge drinking.

Young people, drugs and the criminal economy
by Rob White

Youth Studies Australia, v.18, n.1, pp.29-36

The major contention of this paper is that the present economic and social circumstances of young people have a major bearing on the relationship teenagers have with drugs, and the response of criminal justice systems to this relationship. The author provides a perspective on drug-related activity within the context of what might be called a social ecology of poverty and unemployment. It is argued that local community circumstances are vital factors in any exploration of the relationship between drugs and young people.

Professional lions and multi-skilled kangaroos: Youth work professionalism in South Africa and Australia
by David Maunders

Youth Studies Australia, v.18, n.1, pp.37-42

David Maunders compares the development of professionalism among youth workers in South Africa and Australia and suggests necessary and sufficient conditions for the maintenance of a professional body. He concludes that the most important factors are a consensus about the values, goals and principles of youth work, and government structures for the recognition of youth work as a profession.

School-focused youth service: Building coalitions amidst social and economic change
by Bala Mudaly

Youth Studies Australia, v.18, n.1, pp.43-49

In a climate of economic rationalism, diminishing dollars to education, health and welfare, and an increasing proportion of school children being exposed to social and emotional distress, a school-linked integrated service model for supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged children presents itself as the desired panacea. However, because there is little documented evidence of the efficacy of the model, Bala Mudaly identifies a range of issues which need to be understood if the model is to deliver improved outcomes for children.