Andrew Day – Acting Wellbeing Director
Students in Years 10, 11 and 12 were privileged to hear Paul Dillon from Drug & Alcohol Research and Training, Australia (DARTA) speak on Monday, 9 September. While Paul’s presentations included some confronting, and sobering stories at times, his research-based information, non-judgemental approach and engaging style ensured that the message was thoughtfully received. I am confident that our young people came away from these sessions with greater knowledge and several protective strategies for them and their mates regarding alcohol and drugs.
The DARTA website has excellent resources, information and summaries of the latest research in this field. It is interesting to note the positive trends relating to alcohol use amongst young people, as seen in the following excerpts from the DARTA website:
The Australian Secondary Students’ Alcohol and Drug (ASSAD) survey examines school-based young people’s use of licit and illicit substances. The findings are mostly positive, particularly when it comes to alcohol and tobacco. The number of 12-17 year olds who reported never drinking alcohol increased once again to more than one third (34%), up from only one in ten in 1999. Non-drinking appears to be increasingly seen as a viable option for young people.
More Australians are changing their drinking behaviour by quitting, drinking less or drinking less often.
A PDF version of the 2017 survey results, together with a Word and PDF version of the 2014 report, is available on the Australian Government’s National Drug Strategy website.
New research from La Trobe University found that 30% of Australians recently reduced the amount of alcohol they drank and a further 29% reduced the frequency of their drinking, while 6% quit altogether. Most interestingly, those in their 20s were leading the way in reducing alcohol intake, citing lifestyle reasons such as work, education and family as to why they made the change.
“Most surprisingly, we found that intoxication is not as acceptable as it once was, with more than a third of 14-30 year olds who had quit drinking doing so because they dislike the impact alcohol has on their social experiences,” said lead researcher Dr Amy Pennay.
“They believe in moderation, they are concerned about violence and they want to avoid drunkenness or genuinely dislike how getting drunk makes them feel.”
I encourage parents to open the following links for direct access to more interesting facts and information from this excellent resource.
To further support the education of our students in this area, we are pleased to have the Encounter Youth Education team present seminars for Year 8s (Regard the risks), Year 9s (Know your limits) and Year 12s (Safety at Schoolies) on Thursday, 26 September.