Drug Crime and the Law

Download Theme Pack

An understanding of the Civics and Citizenship concepts is developed through a focus on Australia’s democracy and legal system. The teaching ideas in this resource assist students to gain knowledge and understanding of how Australia’s legal system aims to provide justice, through the rule of law.

Links to curriculum code: ACHCK050 / VCCCL022

An understanding of the Civics and Citizenship concepts is developed through a focus on how citizens can participate in Australia’s democracy, contact with their elected representatives, use of lobby groups, and direct action.

Links to curriculum code: ACHCK062 / VCCCG020

An understanding of the Civics and Citizenship concepts is developed through a focus on how Australia’s legal system works to support a democratic and just society.

Links to curriculum code: ACHK078 / VCCCL034

An understanding of the Civics and Citizenship concepts is developed through a focus on the Australian Government’s role and responsibilities at a global level, for example provision of foreign aid, peacekeeping, participation in international organisations and the United Nations.

Links to curriculum code: ACHCK091 / VCCCG031

An understanding of the Civics and Citizenship concepts is developed through a focus on how Australia’s international legal obligations shape Australian law and government policies, including in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Links to curriculum code: ACHCK093 /VCCCL032

An understanding of the Civics and Citizenship concepts is developed through a focus on what are the challenges to and ways to sustain a resilient and cohesive democracy.

Links to curriculum code: ACHCK094 / VCCCC036


We support the view that schooling should develop a sense of community engagement in students by increasing their potential to be informed, responsible, ethical and active participants in society.

Through practical tasks relating to real life experiences, these free resources help students develop a positive attitude towards their role in society. They enable teachers to select lesson ideas within a theme in any order, to best suit curriculum requirements and the interest of students.

We developed these to make the compulsory content of the Australian Curriculum Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) Civics and Citizenship syllabus for Years 7-10 more engaging.

To make things easy, lesson ideas link directly to the HASS content codes and key concepts, namely, Democratic Values, The Westminster System, Justice, Participation, and Rights and Responsibilities.

This resource can be used to support teaching the Australian Curriculum Health and Physical Education sub-strand, Making Healthy and Safe Choices for Year 7-10.

Learning Intentions

Resource Focus

Australia’s illegal drug trade is currently estimated to be worth $11.3 billion per year with Australia having one of the highest rates of illegal drug use per capita in the world. (ABC NEWS – 17 Feb 2022)

During 2021, around 275 million people throughout the world used illicit drugs. These figures have increased from 2010 by 22 per cent. The illicit drug trade continues to hold back economic and social development and constitutes a fundamental threat to security and stability in some parts of the world. (adapted World Drug Report 2022 (

This resource provides students in years 7-10 with the opportunity to explore how Australia’s democracy, and other world democracies, can be undermined by illicit drug crime; and to identify the safeguards that protect Australia’s and individual’s democratic rights and wellbeing from the impact of the illicit drug trade.

Students Understand

  • What is meant by the term ‘illicit drugs’ and the links between these drugs and criminal activity
  • That illicit drug criminal activity exists in Australia and it has strong international links
  • That Australia has laws and strategies to disrupt the chain of illicit drug manufacture and supply, and these can impact on criminal drug activity
  • That there are a range of indicators that can be signs of illicit drug manufacture and supply and unexplained wealth
  • That Crime Stoppers is a safe and discreet way of reporting suspicious activity.

Lesson Ideas

Further Student Enquiry

This activity is based on de Bono’s lesson, Consequences and sequels. Conduct a media search with the class identifying current scenarios where illicit drugs or drug manufacturing activity have been detected.

Ask students to imagine they were the first to discover the drugs or criminal activity and complete the following activities as a class. Students:

  • brainstorm choices for action and identify what they conclude is the most appropriate choice.
  • identify the risks of making this choice.
  • identify the positive consequences of this choice.
  • discuss whether there maybe another choice that has fewer or more risks and equal/more/less positive consequences?
  • make a list of each consequence, whether it be a risk or consequence and identify them as immediate, short-term, medium-term, orlong-term.
  • decide which choice they would make and identify it as either a good or a bad choice.
  • identify if the consequences of the choice will be manageable for them or for others around them.
  • predict if its sequel will be equally beneficial to them and to society.
  • write a class statement to show why their final choice is the best in terms of consequences and sequels.



Use information from class discussions and completed handouts to provide information about the level of knowledge and understanding of the Learning Intentions. For example:

  • Students investigate and determine what is considered to be an illicit drug in Australia and the impact they have on a democratic society.
  • Students explore and map the countries producing and illegally importing illicit drugs into Australia.
  • Students investigate and discuss the actions being taken by the federal, and state and territory police to combat the manufacturing, illegal importing and selling of illicit drugs.
  • Students explore and discuss the Australian federal and state and territory laws used to prosecute drug criminals.
  • Students explore and outline the role of Crime Stoppers to combat illicit drug crime.
  • Students investigate and discuss the safeguards introduced to protect citizens who take action, and report drug criminal activity.


  • Conduct the Further Student Enquiry activity as an individual assessment to determine the level of knowledge and understanding of actions to be taken when drug crime activity is observed and the consequences these actions will create for society.
  • Students design, for the school/classroom, a persuasive poster, role play, ICT presentation, story board, pamphlet or speech that promotes action when signs of illicit drug crime are observed.