The Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service

Location: England
Demographic: schools; educators; practitioners
Delivery setting: schools; communities
Years active: 2013 – present
Contact email:
Keywords: alcohol and drug education; schools; communities


Theory of Change for ADEPIS:

  1. The Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service (ADEPIS) provides evidence-based resources and information for teachers and practitioners.
  2. This enhances teachers’ and practitioners’ understanding and awareness of evidence-based practice, enabling them to deliver effective alcohol and drug education and prevention.
  3. Children and young people access evidence-based alcohol and drug education and prevention, developing skills and knowledge that increase their resilience to risk.


Information for schools on effective alcohol and drug education

The Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service (ADEPIS) is a platform for sharing information and resources aimed at schools and practitioners working in drug and alcohol prevention.

ADEPIS is publicly acknowledged as the leading source of evidence-based information and tools for alcohol and drug education and prevention for schools. In 2017, ADEPIS was recognised by UNESCO, UNODC and WHO as a “prime example” of best practice in alcohol and drug education. The resources we have produced draw on more than 20 years of work in the prevention field, including eight years of work with the Drug Education Forum, which supported local authorities and schools to implement best practice in drug education.

The ADEPIS project was launched in April 2013 and expanded in 2015 with the integration of the Centre for Analysis of Youth Transitions (CAYT), to further embed expert advice and develop evidence-based tools for local practice in prevention and education.

In 2017 we will produce more tools and guidance, and share further resources, with a particular emphasis on promoting evidence-based programmes and approaches through integrating and further developing the CAYT repository of impact studies.

We will also be running regional training seminars across England. Click here to access an overview of seminars hosted over the past two years, as well as speakers’ presentations.

Mapping the experiences of teachers

One of the first things ADEPIS was keen to do was to find out from teachers what current practice looks like, how they choose and use resources for alcohol and drug education, the support currently available, and perceived gaps.

The findings, based on an online survey with 288 teachers (primary and secondary) and 20 follow-up telephone interviews, were drawn together into a report, which informed the development of ADEPIS.

Alcohol and drug education standards

Following feedback from teachers from our mapping exercise we have drawn together standards for alcohol and drug education. These standards draw on existing national and international guidance as well as examples of good practice in drug education and prevention.

In addition, we have consulted widely with teachers, practitioners, and those who support school drug education in order to ensure that the standards reflect the best current evidence and practice.

Click the image (left) to view or download the Quality Standards.

Each set of standards has been produced for a specific target group:

  • Delivering drug education in the classroom as part of a planned PSHE programme – for primary and secondary schools, independent practitioners or anyone else delivering alcohol and drug education, in formal or informal environments.
  • School context for effective drug education – for school leaders and governing bodies, as well as other members of staff in primary and secondary schools (including free schools, academies, private schools and faith schools) responsible for, or involved in the delivery of alcohol and drug education or policy.
  • Staff policies and safeguarding – for external agencies delivering drug education within schools and employing staff and/or volunteers.

Each document sets out the standards and explains the criteria for meeting them, supported by:

  • A glossary of terms used
  • Resources for further reading
  • Examples of how standards might be evidenced
  • Self-assessment forms

The Quality Standards are available in full here:

View & download the quality standards

Want to quickly introduce colleagues to the Quality Standards?

Download or share this overview:

A brief introduction to the quality standards


Each ADEPIS seminar brings together practitioners and academics to create an arena for sharing ideas, perspectives, and examples on different aspects of alcohol and drug education and prevention. Topics have included:

  • Building a Community of Evidence-Based Practice around prevention
  • Reviewing school drug and alcohol policy
  • Standards for drug and alcohol education and prevention
  • Identifying and supporting pupils affected by parental substance misuse
  • Understanding and addressing causes of risky behaviour and multiple substance use among young people

Presentations and resources produced for the seminars are all available at

Upcoming seminars are listed on our Events page.


ADEPIS-Advice-for-teachers-full.png ADEPIS has produced a number of resources for schools, starting with a toolkit for helping schools review their alcohol and drug policies, a presentation and briefing for school governors to help them think about how their school can respond to alcohol and drug issues, and a briefing paper to help schools identify and support children affected by parental substance misuse.

In addition we have developed multiple briefing papers which focus on topics that are current for schools such as caffeine and energy drinks, legal highs and e-cigarettes.

See the full list of briefing papers here.

The dedicated ADEPIS website has links to a range of resources and programmes developed by others. This includes evidence- and research-based programmes, lesson plans, research summaries and government advice.


Provide your feedback

We are very keen to hear the voice of practitioners. If you have any detailed feedback on ADEPIS we would be grateful to hear your opinions – let us know what topics you would like us to explore, which areas you may need support in, and what you think of the ADEPIS resources.

Contact with feedback or questions.