Aims & Objectives

  • to educate and inform identified communities and the wider Ballarat community about the risks and harms associated with binge drinking and substance use
  • to support and promote the drug education in schools program by providing sector resources to link with schools and better coordinate prevention efforts
  • provide information and understanding on the harm minimisation policy and how young people and communities can minimise harm to themselves
  • act as an information, education and lobbying group to encourage responsible drinking in alignment with National Strategy on Alcohol 2006-2009 'Towards Safer Drinking Cultures'
  • implement and promote the use of evidence based practice approach where appropriate
  • to involve young people and the community in activities and programs that address the risks and harms associated with binge drinking and substance misuse

SSMART ASSK (Alcohol & Substance Survival Knowledge) Program

The SSMART (Surviving Substance Misuse & Alcohol Risk Taking) Network is a Strengthening Generations working party set up to tackle the issues of binge drinking and substance use in young people. The working party, which includes representatives from local Ballarat community & government agencies* has developed an alcohol and drug awareness education program "ASSK" to inform young people how to survive a risk taking party environment.


Students participate in learning activities that:

  • clearly identify the risks & harms of drugs & alcohol on the body
  • provide students with knowledge & awareness of themselves as decision makers
  • provide awareness of how young people can keep themselves & friends safe in a party environment
  • what to do when themselves or a friend has their drink spiked
  • what to do if a young person has taken a substance that puts them at risk
  • what to do if a friend lapses into unconsciousness (knowledge of the coma position & ringing 000)

The key skills young people will gain from the ASSK Program include:

  • communicating with meaning & understanding
  • critical questioning/thinking, active learning
  • self awareness
  • understanding choices

The SSMART ASSK program includes a Party SAFE card for students to take home that includes information such as relevant emergency first aid, including visual clues of the recovery position, emergency phone numbers & drinking safety tips.


ASSK is a program that is evidence based please refer to the evaluation to learn more about the effectiveness of the program.


* members of the SSMART Network include City of Ballarat, Victoria Police, Department Education and Early Childhood Development, UnitingCare Ballarat, Ballarat Community Health Centre, Sebastopol Secondary College, St John Ambulance, Child & Family Services Ballarat, University of Ballarat