As part of the ongoing development of the Choices program, the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse at the University of Queensland partnered with the Choices team to survey the students who viewed the Choices program in schools. Choices was delivered in the last term of Year 12 across 28 North Queensland schools. A total of 352 school leavers (43.1% males, mean age = 17.14) completed a questionnaire at Whitsunday Schoolies, Queensland Australia on the 24th of November 2010. Nearly 49% of respondents had attended Choices. The survey included measures of alcohol use, illicit drug use, and associated problems during Schoolies and a month prior to Schoolies.

After controlling for gender and pre-schoolies drinking, school leavers who attended Choices were significantly less likely to report illicit drug use (OR = .51, p < .05) and problem behaviours (OR = .40, p < .01) than those who did not attend Choices. There were, however, no intervention effect in risky drinking (i.e., drank on 5 or more days, typical amount 5 or more standard drink, and binge drank on 3 or more days) at Schoolies (OR =.92, p = .80).

Graph showing risk behaviours of  young people who did not attend choices

Risk behaviours

A larger proportion of young people who did not attend Choices endorsed at least 1 item of risky behaviour compared to those who did attend Choices.

Graph showing frequency of incidents reported

Frequency of incidents reported

A smaller proportion of young people living in North Queensland who attended Choices used drugs during schoolies compared to all other groups.

Quek, L.-H., White, A., Low, C., Brown, J. E., Dalton, N., Dow, D., et al. (2012). Good choices, great future: An applied theatre prevention program to reduce alcohol-related risky behaviours during Schoolies. Drug and Alcohol Review, 1-6.