Topics:  alcohol, binge drinking, headspace, southern downs, teens

Headspace urging kids to think before they binge drink

CELEBRATORY drinks to mark the end of school are in the near future of many graduates and binge drinking seems to be posing more of a risk than illegal drugs.

Headspace Southern Downs manager Mark Goddard said alcohol was more accepted and accessible than other drugs, making associated problems more prevalent.

"We don't have major concerns about an extraordinary amount of drug use and we expect young people will experiment as a part of growing up," Mr Goddard said.

"Binge drinking with young people at this time of year, with rodeo and end of school, is more of an issue and something we work with young people about."

Despite a common belief that it is OK for teenagers to have a drink at two at home with their parents, Mr Goddard urged parents to delay their child's introduction to alcohol as long as possible.

"Alcohol is a poison and the earlier it is introduced to the system, the more tolerance they have for it. Drinking is part of the Australian culture but it's not necessarily a good part," he said.

Department of Education and Training regional director Greg Dickman said Year 12 students would be made aware of the dangers.

"This year, Warwick State High School, along with Queensland Health, the hotel industry and community groups will hold the 'Think the Drink' program on November 13," he said.

"Sessions within the program warn against the dangers of drink spiking, binge drinking and how alcohol affects your decision making process."

Mr Dickman said the program would return after a successful introduction last year.

"Evaluation completed by students who attended last year was very positive," he said.

If you believe your child may have a problem with alcohol, phone Headspace on 4661 1999.



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