Script: Alcohol and Drugs Youth Beyond Blue 2007

Script Archive: Alcohol and Drugs Youth Beyond Blue 2007

Back in 2007, when I was enormously pregnant with my first baby, I had the pleasure of writing a series of scripts for Beyond Blue under the series Strength to Speak as a precursor to their Youth Beyond Blue program. This script, the fourth, is titled Alcohol and Drugs facts sheets have been updated since then.

This script formats a little clunky here, tell me if you’d like me to work on this, is written in AV format for documentary/presenter sections and traditional format for creative/scripted sections.

I also want to leave you with some links. This is a project that stayed with me and I’ve kept up to date with who has best information and advice. Here in Australia two organisations lead the pack to my mind Youth Beyond Blue, ReachOut and Headspace. They create facts sheets, brilliant YouTube clips, vlogs, multimedia content and so on… and always need support, I mean $, to survive, check them out!

Agency Neon/Cre8ive Writer Samantha Maher
Client ANU/Affirm Producer Michael Fardell
Project Strength to Speak Director
Title Drugs and Alcohol Art Director > Cre8ive
Duration 5 mins Format/OP Tape/DVD
Job # Draft # 3







Presenter to camera

Super: >>


Presenter: Recent studies suggest that alcohol and drug use is strongly associated with depression in young people. That young people who are depressed are more likely to use drugs and alcohol, but are also more likely to become depressed because of their use, a classic Catch 22.

We’ve also found that binge drinking can lead to serious health problems. With around 1 in 10 young people aged between 14-19 years drinking at levels considered high risk for both short-term and long-term harm.

When it comes to drugs even smoking marijuana has been associated with depression particularly for teenage girls. And when it comes to drugs like speed and ice, even irregular use can lead to psychosis or seeing, hearing and feeling things that don’t exist.

You may also experience delusions or irrational thoughts or beliefs and have an increased chance of becoming paranoid or violent.

Hi everybody, xxx here again and today we’re investigating drugs and alcohol and how even small quantities can lead to a variety of mental and physical problems. We’ll also hear from Rachel who went to find out how to manage and reduce drug and alcohol consumption and when it’s necessary to completely cut them out of our lives.  We’ll watch a short film about a group of friends and a night that went horribly wrong.

Presenter to camera

Super: Week 5: Amy’s journey: Cocklebiddy to Eucla

SFX: Footsteps trace weeks journey with interesting landmarks highlighted along the way (must have youth interest – like music and sporting venues, home of famous person, site of disaster/victory/newsworthy achievement etc.)

Presenter V/O: But first let’s check in with Amy. This week Amy’s walk has taken her from Cocklebiddy to Madura and on to Eucla

She has passed

1. Cocklebiddy Cave with its vast limestone caverns and rock falls and subterranean lakes.

2…., and


She has now had 35 alcohol free days in a row and is feeling happier than ever.

She’s now off to Cross the Nullabor where hopefully the days won’t be too hot or the nights too cold.

Presenter to camera Presenter: It’s often easy to turn to drugs or alcohol to numb your feelings or cope with life.

Even if they offer immediate relief you will often feel worse afterwards or suffer a hangover or come down the next day!

Rachel went to talk to @@@ to find out how best to deal with drugs and alcohol. This is what she found out…

Super: Rachel

Super: @@@ and title


(each point floats across the screen and ends in line with the others)



















Super: Avoid Drugs and Alcohol if:

  • Your depression or anxiety is severe
  • You’re taking medication for depression or anxiety
  • You’re having other physical health problems
  • You’ve become addicted or dependent
  • You’re having serious problems at school; work, at home or within yourself because of your drug and alcohol use.








  • Fact Sheet
  • Website
  • School Counsellor
  • Family Doctor
  • Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800
Rachel: Hi guys I’m Rachel and like most of you have been known to drink at parties, but I am constantly berated by my family for it, so I’ve decided to find out what all the fuss is about.

I’m at @@@ and about to meet @@@ an expert on drugs and alcohol and the effects their consumption has on teenagers.

Rachel: Hi@@@. What is the story with alcohol consumption? Is alcohol really that bad for us or is it all hype?   

@@@: During adolescence, alcohol can seriously damage the growth processes in the brain. Young people under the age of 21 only drink half as much as adults to suffer from the same effects. Short-term and moderate drinking can also impair learning and memory far more in adolescents than in adults, and the damage can be long-term and irreversible.

Research has shown that using drugs and alcohol is also closely linked with depression and anxiety, and despite positive feelings for a short time after drinking alcohol, young people often experience depression, moodiness or increased anxiety levels after only a few hours or the next day.

Rachel: So what do you suggest we do to manage our intake so that doesn’t happen to us?

@@@: If you’re worried that you are drinking too much, I’d suggest you avoid drinking by yourself or when you are feeling sad or anxious, don’t keep alcohol in your house or room, make sure you feel comfortable saying ‘no’ to your mates and find out about safer levels of alcohol use.

If you’re worried about what they’ll say, tell them you have to get up early, sport or whatever, and you don’t want a hangover.

Leave parties early if you think you will drink more or go for drinks lower in alcohol like light beer and alternate alcoholic drinks with water, juice or soft drinks.

Sip slowly, count your drinks and stop at a certain number. The recommended maximum daily intake for females is 2 standard drinks, and 4 for males, but young people should try to have less.

Avoid drinking during the school week and finish your work or study before you go out drinking. Try to have alcohol-free days, weekends or even weeks.

Rachel: Are there other times when drinking and taking drugs is particularly uncool?  

Sometimes it’s necessary to cut out drugs and alcohol completely. This can happen when you have severe depression or anxiety taking medication that should not be mixed with alcohol. It’s also necessary to avoid drugs and alcohol if you become addicted or dependent on them or are having serious problems at school, work, at home or within yourself because of your drug and alcohol use.

And remember that stopping completely can be very hard, so get some help from family or friends if you need to. If they know what you’re trying to do, they can support you. If you think you are addicted or dependent, it’s best to get help from a doctor to get through possible withdrawal symptoms.

Rachel: So for help I should see my doctor?

@@@: First check out the fact sheet available from your school, it contains information about who to contact if you need more facts or help. You could also try your school counsellor or the Reachout website which has tons of information. You can also phone the Kids Help Line and of course if you feel comfortable talk to your family doctor.

Rachel: Thanks @@@ for all your help.

Presenter to camera



Presenter: @@@ has certainly answered my questions.

But now let’s check out what happens when drinking gets out of hand.

1. INT                   DAMO’s CAR                                                NIGHT

SFX: Loud music is booming from the car stereo.

DAMIAN, 17, is sitting in the driver’s seat, next to his girlfriend JEN, 16. HANNAH, 15 and LUKE, 18 are climbing in the back seat. JEN opens the glove box and stashes a pipe and small tin. LUKE opens a case of Bundy Rum & Coke cans and hands one to HANNAH and JEN. He hands one to DAMO who shakes his head, no, passing it back.


I don’t drink.


Come on, just one. You can’t even taste the alcohol, it’s mostly just coke.

HANNAH takes a sip and clearly doesn’t like the taste, she sips again uncomfortable but persevering. DAMO drives off.

INSERT: Backseat of car

A few cans are piled on the backseat floor of the car.

2. EXT                  FIRE PIT IN THE NATIONAL PARK                         NIGHT

SFX: Music blaring from the stereo.

DAMO, JEN, HANNAH and LUKE are standing around a fire pit, the car is parked nearby and the stereo is still blaring. The windows are open and LUKE walks over and reaches for another drink.


Let’s grab some more sticks and stuff.

JEN and HANNAH walk into the bush, LUKE and DAMO are building the fire, a pile of kindling and newspaper is slowly being transformed into a healthy stack, LUKE lights the paper and it flares into the night sky.


What do you think of Hannah? She’s cool huh? I’m hoping tonight we might…you know…


sneak into the bushes…

DAMO grabs a sports drink from the car and another Bundy Can for LUKE.


Yeah something like that…


Go easy she’s only young, give her time.

LUKE shrugs and keeps throwing sticks on the fire. JEN and HANNAH are making their way back to the fire pit, sticks and leaves spewing from their arms, they dump it by the fire and HANNAH sits down seemingly exhausted. DAMO adds more wood to the fire, as LUKE grabs another drink for HANNAH.

JEN grabs her tin and pipe from the glove box and starts packing a cone. HANNAH keeps drinking, seeming more confident see starts dancing to the music. LUKE goes to her, pressing himself to her, he starts rubbing his hands up and down her back. The fire is burning.

DAMO comes over to JEN; she is exhaling and is surrounded by a thick stream of white smoke. She packs another and hands it to DAMO.


Jen, you know I’m driving…

JEN shrugs (suit yourself) and smokes it herself. LUKE throws another can in the backseat of the car and grabs two more Bundy cans, he leads HANNAH into the bush, she is swaying and seems unbalanced on her feet.

INSERT: Backseat of car

More cans are piled on the backseat floor of the car; they trail out to the fire pit.

3. EXT                  FIRE PIT IN THE NATIONAL PARK                         NIGHT

SFX: Music blaring from the stereo.

JEN and DAMO are sitting by the fire, JEN is watching her hands float in the fire light, and DAMO is watching her, swigging his drink his eyes never leave JEN. He is utterly entranced.

SFX: A scream

DAMO and JEN are instantly mobilised, they run toward the scream, it is HANNAH.

3. EXT                  WATERHOLE IN THE NATIONAL PARK                         NIGHT

SFX: Splashing

HANNAH is splashing about treading water in a pond/waterhole. JEN stops dead. LUKE is trying to get to HANNAH but seems to be struggling. JEN looks pale and starts trembling


(screaming) Get him away from me…


Look out, eels, everywhere…they’ve got him, Hannah they’ve got Luke, don’t move they’ll get you. Damo help… help her.

DAMO dives in grabs HANNAH and drags her to the bank. LUKE has unravelled himself from the waist up and is pulling himself toward the opposite bank. JEN is freaking out.


Damo, can you take me home?

DAMO nods.


Jen let’s go.

JEN still shaky follows as DAMO starts walking HANNAH to the car, JEN glances back at LUKE still lying on the bank. She starts toward DAMO and HANNAH who are moving quite slowly.


Damo, I’ll take Hannah, can you help Luke, we can’t leave him here.

DAMO and JEN swap places and DAMO goes back for LUKE. LUKE takes his hand to get up and then pushes him away, he doesn’t need help walking although he is stumbling toward the car.

INSERT: Fire pit

The bonfire has burnt out, cans are everywhere, they trail to the car. DAMO stops and picks up the pipe and tin and other debris scattered around the fire.

4. INT                   DAMO’s CAR                                                NIGHT

SFX: Music blaring from the stereo.

HANNAH and JEN climb in the backseat kicking cans onto the ground outside. JEN is comforting HANNAH, rubbing her hair. HANNAH curls into her and starts to cry.

LUKE struggles into the front passenger seat.

DAMO gets in the car; throwing the trash onto the floor of the passenger seat and putting the pipe and tin back in the glove box. He turns down the stereo and silence creeps in.

SFX: Music is playing softly from the car stereo.

DAMO drives off, faster than he should, JEN is starting to tense, her eyes start darting everywhere.


(to Hannah) Shhhh… it will be alright. Damo stop driving like an idiot, you’ll get us killed, what’s that there, it’s the cops, Damo, the cops.

DAMO, eyes darting looking for the cops, they are no where to be seen. His eyes back on the road, it’s too late, he swerves to get back on course and overcorrects. They crash and the girls scream

SFX: Crashing sounds as car slams into glass and metal.

SFX: Screaming from the backseat.

The bus stop is crumbling around them. Glass and metal is everywhere.


Where are the bloody cops, you’re nuts, seeing stuff again, first eels, now cops.


I’m gonna spew.


I swear I saw flashing lights. And they were eels I don’t care what you say.

SFX: Vomiting noises

LUKE is vomiting, his lap is already covered.


(groaning) just shut up… Luke are you ok?

SFX: More vomiting

JEN and DAMO both look from HANNAH, she is bleeding from a cut above her eye and holding her stomach, to Luke, there is vomit everywhere and he is bleeding from his hand.

SFX: Sirens getting louder on approach.


Nah, I don’t think I am.

INSERT: Police and Ambulance

Flashing lights light up the sky in bursts of blue and red.

5. EXT                        CRASH SCENE                                          NIGHT

DAMO is in the foreground sitting in the driver’s seat with his legs dangling out the car door. A POLICE PERSON is crouched talking to him and holding a breathalyser in one hand and DAMO’s licence in the other.

JEN, head down and crying, is standing at the back of the car talking to another POLICE PERSON; they are holding her pipe and tin. She passes by HANNAH in the back of an ambulance as she is lead to the waiting cop car.

LUKE is sitting on the gutter clutching a bucket and wrapped in a blanket, another Ambulance officer is crouched next to him.

SFX: Retching and sobbing.

HANNAH is reclining on the stretcher, she’s being attended to, but seems out-of-it. Her head is now bandaged and she’s crying.

The POLICE PERSON hands DAMO back his license but indicates he should stay where he is.

Fade to black





 Super: More information

  • Fact Sheet
  • Website
  • School Counsellor
  • Family Doctor
  • Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800
Presenter: Well ugly situation for everyone but it was good to see they didn’t leave their friends behind and somebody stayed sober to look after the others and drive. Next time hopefully things might be different

For more info check out the fact sheet and in the meantime if you need more advice or want to talk to someone check out these websites or talk to your school counsellor, family doctor or the Kids Help Line.

Super: Next Week: Surviving a Bad Day Presenter: Well that’s it from me. I’ll be back next week to talk about how to survive a bad day. We all have them and they’re never fun but with a few tips I’m sure you’ll get through it.




About Sam Maher

SAM MAHER is a writer, producer, communicator. Passionate about innovation, education and human rights.
This entry was posted in Communications, Communications Archive and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Script: Alcohol and Drugs Youth Beyond Blue 2007

  1. This is grat. Thanks for posting!

    • Sam Maher says:

      Thanks for your comment. Very much appreciated. Drugs and Alcohol are recurring subject areas for me, both fiction and non fiction, so keep checking back to see what turn up!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s