Home > Know the Score: substance use resource materials for senior cycle SPHE.

HSE Alcohol Programme. (2019) Know the Score: substance use resource materials for senior cycle SPHE. Dublin: Health Service Executive.

PDF (Know the Score: substance use resource materials for senior cycle SPHE)

External website: https://www.hse.ie/knowthescore

This resource has been designed to support teachers to teach the substance use module of the Curriculum Framework for SPHE in Senior Cycle and to enable Senior Cycle students to make conscious and informed decisions about alcohol and drugs.Although the total amount of alcohol consumed by young people has declined in the last twenty years, it is still a significant public health concern. 74% of 15-16 year olds have tried alcohol, and 28% have engaged in binge drinking. Cannabis use is an increasing cause of concern, with recent studies showing an increase in cannabis use from 7% to 10% over 4 years.


There are particular risks associated with alcohol and drug use among young people. It impacts on social and emotional development, cognitive development and mental health, with high correlations between substance use and mental health difficulties, including self harm and suicide, hence the importance of links to prevention actions as mentioned in the Connecting for Life Strategy. Alcohol & Drug use is also linked to reduced inhibitions and increased risk-taking, including regretted and /or unprotected sex. The challenge for parents and teachers is to ascertain adolescents’ concerns, their perceptions of vulnerability, their ability to identify risk, and their ability to judge risk 


  • Lesson 1 What Do I Know?
  • Lesson 2 How Do I Feel?
  • Lesson 3 Standing Tall
  • Lesson 4 Positive Choices
  • Lesson 5 Top to Toe – Your Body and Alcohol
  • Lesson 6 Choices and Consequences
  • Lesson 7 Knowing Your Limits
  • Lesson 8 How am I Influenced?
  • Lesson 9 Safety First
  • Lesson 10 Drugs – Know the Score
  • Lesson 11 Cannabis
  • Lesson 12 Drugs – Stories
  • Lesson 13 Heads Up – Substance Use and Mental Health
  • Lesson 14 The Bigger Picture
  • Appendix One Glossary of Terms
  • Appendix Two Regional & Local Drug & Alcohol Task Forces List
  • Appendix Three National Drug strategy
  • Appendix Four Drink Driving Penalties
  • Appendix Five Drug Testing & Penalties 

The main resource is supported by three videos

  1. Drugs,the Brain and dependency
  2. Cannabis
  3. Risks of Adolescent Substance Use
Item Type
Publication Type
Drug Type
Alcohol, Cannabis
Intervention Type
Prevention, Harm reduction, Education and training
November 2019
160 p.
Health Service Executive
Corporate Creators
HSE Alcohol Programme
Place of Publication
Related (external) link

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