News and Views

Alcohol warning for under-18s celebrating leavers

WA Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell reminded parents and students ahead of Leavers Week (November 21 to 24, 2016) that no-one should provide alcohol to under 18s.

This is the second year that the Government’s secondary supply laws will be in force, meaning 18-year-olds that provide alcohol to their friends could be breaking the law.

Ms Mitchell said the launched phase of the Parents, Young People and Alcohol advertising campaign, which would run until the end of November 2016, reminded all leavers of the dangers of underage and excessive drinking.

“The campaign highlights the risks of underage drinking, including long-term brain damage and the potentially deadly consequences of poor decisions,” she said.

“Celebrating the end of school should be a fantastic experience and the harmful dangers of alcohol, including major injuries as a result of risky behaviour, should play no part.

“Not drinking alcohol is absolutely the safest option and the secondary supply laws empower parents to stop others giving their children access to alcohol.”

Research has found that the State Government’s ongoing campaign to reduce underage drinking are paying dividends, with more young people saying ‘no’ to alcohol when it is offered.

“The message is really getting through to older teenagers, which is great news,” the Minister said.

“Three times more 16 and 17-year-olds chose not to drink alcohol in 2014 (15.9%) compared with 2005 (5.1%) and those who did drink, did so less often.”

To support the campaign, a new Alcohol and Leaver’s Celebration Community Action Kit has been developed by the Mental Health Commission, with training delivered to 35 members of frontline organisations in Busselton last week in preparation for leavers celebrations.

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