According to the Nova Scotia Student Drug Use Survey 2007, over 90 percent of the students who reported that all of their friends used alcohol and cannabis also reported that they themselves used alcohol and cannabis. On the other hand, 85 percent of the students who reported that none or only a few of their friends used alcohol or cannabis reported that they also did not use alcohol or cannabis. The substance use of peers appears to be a strong influence on students' behaviour.

This learning theme will focus on the development of “assertiveness” skills in situations that grade 7 students may encounter (e.g., drinking from a parent's liquor cabinet at a friend's house; being offered a beer by a friend's parent; partying in the woods; smoking a joint behind the mall or recreation centre, etc.). In addition to these examples, teachers are also encouraged to develop locally relevant examples with the students in order for the session to be as practical as possible for them (e.g., what situation would you find most awkward to face?). The graffiti wall or team approaches used in previous sessions could be used to generate ideas.

Given that 12 percent of grade 7 students had been a passenger in a car with a driver who had too much to drink (according to the
Nova Scotia Student Drug Use Survey 2007) and that the percentage increases to 22 percent by grade 12 (with a higher percentage of females than males having done so), the role plays found in this learning theme include seeking alternatives to riding with an impaired driver.

A summary of the curriculum links, activity objectives, time and preparation required, and the necessary materials can be found by clicking
here or on the Outcomes link in this section.