Know the Score Resources for Post Primary Teachers

Know the Score

Know The Score is the first national evidence-based resource on alcohol and drugs for Senior Cycle students (15-18yrs). It is developed in partnership between public health and education professionals. The resource is aimed at engaging young people in exploring and considering a wide range of topics related to the risks associated with alcohol and drugs.

The overall aim of the resource is to enable young people to make conscious and informed decisions about alcohol and drugs. Know the Score was jointly developed by the HSE, the Department of Education and the Drug and Alcohol Task Forces.

Irish manual available in 22/23

Know the Score Resource

Know the Score Teachers Manual (PDF, 9 MB, 162 pages)

Know the Score Teachers Manual – As Gaeilge (PDF, 6 MB, 162 pages)

  • A hard copy of the Know the Score Teachers Manual can be ordered from choose ‘alcohol’ in the ‘search by topic’ dropdown menu.

The main resource is supported by three videos

  1. Drugs, the Brain and dependency (YouTube)
  2. Cannabis (YouTube)
  3. Risks of Adolescent Substance Use (YouTube)


The resource contains 14 lesson plans addressing alcohol and drug use. It uses interactive and experiential teaching methodologies. The training being offered will support teachers to deliver this programme in schools.

Although the resource can be downloaded for free, the following training is recommended:

  • 1 day in-person training, especially recommended for teachers new to SPHE. Book Here
  • 2 hour online training, recommended for experienced SPHE teachers. Book Here

All in-person training is approved for sub cover by the Department of Education.

Resources for Substance Use

Programmes for Substance Use

  • Alcohol Industry Funded Initiatives - The HSE and the Department of Health recommend that you do not involve alcohol industry-funded initiatives in health education in your school. This policy is also supported by the Department of Education and Skills. Visit for the HSE information on alcohol.

  • Drug and Alcohol Task Forces - In some areas, staff from the local drug and alcohol task force may be willing to come in to talk to students about issues related to drug and alcohol use in the local area, it is recommended that they supplement, rather than replace, the work of the SPHE teacher on substance use in line with DES Guidelines on external facilitators.
  • Department of Education Guidelines on external facilitators - This circular states that ‘The qualified classroom teacher is the best placed professional to work sensitively and consistently with students and she/he can have a powerful impact on influencing students’ attitudes, values, and behaviour in all aspects of wellbeing education.

Related Files

Know the Score Substance Use Resource Materials SPHE