School level

New Resource: Know the Score

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD, Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD and Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy Catherine Byrne TD have launched ‘Know the Score’, a new national resource for teachers of senior cycle students aimed at guiding and supporting them to improve their knowledge and strengthen their skills in dealing with the risks associated with alcohol and drugs.

 ‘Know the Score’ is the first national evidence-based resource on alcohol and drugs for senior cycle students and was developed in partnership between public health and education professionals, with input from teachers and young people.

Topics addressed include building cultural awareness of attitudes towards alcohol in Ireland, the impact of alcohol on the body and the brain, the influences of alcohol branding and sponsorship and information on how to provide emergency care if they are concerned about someone who has been drinking or taking drugs. The resource also addresses cannabis use and the damage caused by alcohol and drugs to mental health. 

Aimed at 15-18 year olds, the content is based on research about effective approaches to the prevention of substance misuse. Students and teachers were involved in the design of the 14 lessons and supporting digital content, which aim to facilitate informed discussions about alcohol and drugs in the classroom.

The main resource is supported by three videos, a teacher manual, and resource material.


A training programme for teachers will commence in Spring 2020, and the Department of Education and Skills has provided substitution cover for this teacher training. Schools interested in attending the training or viewing a copy of the resource should visit www.hse.ie/knowthescore.


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