Underage Drinking The Focus Of New Online Forum

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Health officials the world over agree that alcohol consumption has adverse effects on the lives of young people. A new online discussion group ‘Underage Drinking’ has just been launched to facilitate discussion between parents, teenagers and health educators. The resources it provides arms each with resources to combat the problem.

underage drinking, teenage alcohol, teenage drinking, teenage health issues, alcohol and teenagers

New Discussion Platform Tackles Underage Drinking

Because it is alcohol we somehow seem to ignore it, if it was any other drug causing this amount of devastation, this amount of death and hospitalization, there would be a national outcry.

The statistics for underage drinking are alarming, but the creators of a new online discussion group ‘Underage Drinking’ is showing that real life examples are even more sobering. Like the story of 15 year old Leigh Clark who died from alcohol poisoning just 200 metres from a fast food outlet. His body was not found for 3 days.

According to a report issued in 2010 by former Australian Minister for Youth, Kate Ellis, teenagers in the 15-19 year age group in that country have the highest rate of any age group for hospitalisation for acute intoxication. That the problem is growing is shown by a 2009 Victorian Youth Alcohol and Drug Survey which found that 42% of young people engaged in high level drinking in the 12 months prior. This was an increase of 5 percentage points from 2004 and 16 from 2002.

Underage Drinking - A Platform For Discussion: The Website

Created by Ovens & King Community Health Service, the ‘Underage Drinking - A Platform For Discussion’ website has been the result of an active concern for the youth of the area that the organisation serves. The developing of an effective information delivery method through community forums has led to the creation of a ‘how-to’ kit that helps others to run their own forums.

“We have provided free resources on the website to assist individuals facilitating a parenting forum, these include handouts and a slideshow.” said spokesperson Donald Currie.

Access to the website and discussions is free.

Adolescence and Alcohol Don’t Mix: The DVD

A DVD ‘Adolescence and Alcohol Don’t Mix’ has also been created by the organization. It gives more true life examples of the consequences of underage drinking, along with advice and tips from Geoff Munro, National Policy Manager, Australian Drug Foundation.

In the video, Mr Munro gives pause for parents and legislators, saying “One teenager dies every week following drinking and another 60 are hospitalized due to acute intoxication, which means they are so drunk they need medical attention, often to save their lives... Because it is alcohol we somehow seem to ignore it, if it was any other drug causing this amount of devastation, this amount of death and hospitalization, there would be a national outcry. But because it is alcohol it seems to fly under the radar."

“The DVD has proved to be very powerful in bringing home the realities of underage drinking - to both young people and their parents.” said Mr Currie.

‘Underage Drinking - A Platform For Discussion’ encourages interaction between parents, young people and health educators. Teenagers, particularly, are encouraged to share tips on managing peer pressure and how to plan safe gatherings.

More information can be found at http://www.underagedrinking.com.au
About Underage Drinking - A Platform For Discussion

Underage Drinking - A Platform For Discussion is a website providing an online discussion forum and resources for community health education particularly relating to underage drinking and its consequences.

About Ovens & King Community Health Service

Ovens and King Community Health Service provides dynamic, accessible services to support active living. Its management, staff and volunteers believe passionately in helping people maintain good health – the most precious resource we have. Its range of services available assist people to manage their health issues within their own home and community.

About Geoff Munro

A former secondary school teacher, Geoff Munro has worked in the drug field for over twenty years specialising in drug prevention and community development for government and non-government services.

He has led numerous projects, published on policy and practice in peer reviewed journals and presented papers at conferences, drug summits and parliamentary inquiries. Geoff's recent publications include co-editing Drug Education in Schools: Searching for the Silver Bullet.

He has convened five International Conferences on Drugs and Young People since 1998 and two Thinking Drinking Conferences in 2005 and 2007. His current role involves policy development and its advocacy on behalf of the Australian Drug Foundation.

For more information on Underage Drinking - A Platform For Discussion visit http://www.underagedrinking.com.au

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