Primary Schools

Our activities are highly interactive and engage students in problem-solving and critical thinking to assist students in relating their learning to real-life situations. Great emphasis is also placed on visual aids to stimulate participatory learning.

Programming in the primary school setting is facilitated by members of the NCSA Primary School Team. This unique blend of multi-talented NCSA Staff & Volunteers, work assiduously together to ensure that the children benefit from accurate information in their formative years. Team members are easily recognisable in their brightly coloured polo shirts bearing the NCSA logo and that of the Primary School Programme

How does it all work?

Each intervention is coordinated in collaboration with the school in order to ensure that adequate arrangements are made for the in-class sessions.  While we work according to a schedule, if you have a particular request, you are more than welcome to contact us directly at 535-6272 or via email at

About us

From its inception in 1995, the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA), as Government’s lead agency for drug demand reduction, has been involved in providing drug prevention education to schools across Barbados. Prevention is a long-term process which seeks to change behaviour over a period of time by:

  • Providing information
  • The acquisition of skills
  • The promotion of self-esteem and worth

The interventions made with students are based on two-way communication and is respectful of the feelings and attitudes of students so that it is more likely to be retained and used.

What we teach

Our topics include:

  • Drug Education
  • Implications of Drug Use
  • Life Skills e.g. decision making, healthy lifestyles and goal setting
  • HIV & AIDS Education

In keeping with recent approaches to drug education, our programmes work towards the broader goal of enhancing the resilience of young people and their capacity to deal effectively with challenge or adversity. As the class teacher is always present, it enables the issues raised, to be built on and expanded as part of the schools' on-going curriculum.


Goals, Objectives & Expected Outcomes


To engage students in drug education activities that will assist them to make healthy and safe choices, identify risky situations, and develop strategies to prepare them for challenging situations.


  • To reduce the number of young people using drugs;
  • To delay the uptake of drugs for as long as possible;
  • To reduce the harmful use of legal drugs and medicines; and
  • To reduce adverse individual and social consequences of drug use.


  • To increase student’s knowledge, social and life skills, and refusal skills towards licit and illicit drug use
  • To include content relevant to young people’s experiences and interests
  • To contain highly interactive pedagogies that engage students in problem-solving and critical thinking
  • To commence activities prior to initial experimentation and continue as young people mature
  • To provide significant coverage of relevant issues complemented by follow up booster sessions
  • To position drug education within the broader health and personal learning curriculum that focuses, amongst other things, on mental health issues such as stress and coping
  • To respond to the cultural and social needs of the school community
  • To engage parents where possible.

Expected Outcomes:


  • Students should know:
    • Ways of enhancing their and others’ confidence and self-esteem
    • How to share with and care for family and friends
    • People who can help them when they have questions or concerns
    • What medicines are for, their safety rules and the danger of incorrect use
    • Ways that substances can get into the body
    • Alternatives to medicines
    • About the possible effects of others’ smoking on their health

Attitudes and values

  • Students articulate:
    • Valuing one’s body and recognizing one’s individuality
    • Responsible attitudes towards medicines and health professionals
    • Positive attitudes towards the non-use of tobacco
    • Critical responses to the advertising of alcohol, tobacco, medicines and other health supplements
    • Their feelings with confidence


  • Students can:
    • Demonstrate basic listening and communication skills when interacting with others
    • Express their feelings constructively and show respect for the feelings of others
    • Work effectively in small groups
    • Recognize situations where choices can be made and identify the consequences of their choices
    • Set simple goals to keep themselves safe and healthy
    • Follow simple safety instructions and know when and how to get help from adults and others such as police or ambulance services