The overall aim of this Grade 9 unit is to build on and enhance students' understanding of the risks and harms linked to substance use developed in Grades 7 and 8. Through the unit's activities, questions, and discussion, students are increasingly encouraged to “think for themselves”. The unit also addresses the possibility that Grade 9 students may find themselves in high-risk situations, particularly with respect to the use of alcohol and, for some students, cannabis.

Students will be presented with concrete information on what to do in high-risk situations and how to respond to potential resulting harms. Through role-playing of a party in Learning Theme Two, students will have the opportunity to practice what they have learned. The topics covered here are more wide-ranging than the focus on alcohol and cannabis noted in previous grades, expanding to include additional substances and a more sophisticated understanding of the social and legal implications of substances in Canadian society. Finally, students are encouraged to think about themselves in terms of how they can and do influence the people and world around them.