GOING SOLO: Jida Kennedy-Branson, 10, on the drums at Nexus. Picture: EMMA COUTTSHORSHAM Primary School Rasmussen Road campus students celebrated the end of a drug and alcohol education program with a party at Nexus Youth Centre.
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Wimmera Drug Action Taskforce ran the pilot program at the school over six weeks and there are plans to take the program to 30 other Wimmera schools.

Red Cross’s Save a Mate Program officer Andrew King said there was a drug education gap, so Wimmera organisations pooled their resources to fill it.

“Grampians Community Health has been involved and so have Nexus Youth Centre, Horsham police and the Red Cross,” Mr King said. “We thought ‘let’s run this program with a group of young people and see how we go’.

“We have talked to the grade five and six students about alcohol and other drugs and what they can do in a risky situation.

“They have identified someone to talk to about the situation and how they can keep themselves safe.”

Mr King said students learnt about the dangers of stimulants and depressants and how particular drugs affected the central nervous system.

“We have also taught students the recovery position, so they can help someone in trouble,” he said. “But it hasn’t all been serious we have also had lots of prizes, games and fun activities.”

Grade six student William Schmidt said he had enjoyed being part of the pilot program.

“It’s fun and you learn lots of things that you haven’t really learnt before at school,” he said.

Wimmera Drug Action Taskforce project officer Brendan Scale said the taskforce aimed to run the program in primary schools across the Wimmera, partnering each school with a health care provider.

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