The latest phase of the Parents, Young People and Alcohol campaign is a joint initiative between the Mental Health Commission, Curtin University and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, and is part-funded by Healthway.
The campaign's key message is based on the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) guideline that for children and young people under 18 years of age, not drinking alcohol is the safest option. 1
This new campaign builds on the successful "Cogs" campaign which featured the impact of alcohol on the developing brain which launched in November 2012.
Alcohol consumption as an adolescent or young adult is associated with physical injury including accidental and violent injury. 1 Drinking alcohol also increases the risk of developing mental health and social problems, especially when a person starts drinking at a young age. 2
Access to alcohol is a contributing factor to young people aged 12 to 17 years who report drinking in the last week. Limiting alcohol availability is important and young people report the primary sources of alcohol as parents (28%), friends (26%) and someone else bought it for them (23%). These sources change as young people approach 17 years-of-age to be reported as licensed outlets (29.8%), someone else buying it for them, friends (20.8%) and parents (18.4%).
The new campaign features a range of experts including a paediatrician, paramedic and school psychologist - all who witness young people experiencing the harms caused by alcohol consumption.
No one should provide alcohol to under 18s.
Primary: Parents of young people 12 to 17 years-of-age.
Secondary: Young people 12 to 17 years-of-age.
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Children and young people are vulnerable to alcohol and in particular, alcohol can have a significant impact on the developing body and brain.
The NHMRC alcohol guideline for young people gives a sound and important reason for parents and care givers not to give alcohol young people if they are under 18 years of age.
Concerns about the risks of alcohol for young people led to the NHMRC recommending: For young people under 18 years of age, no alcohol is the safest choice.
1 Commonwealth of Australia (2009). National Health and Medical Research Council: Australian Guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol. p. 59.
2 Brown S & Tapert S, 2004, Adolescence and the trajectory of alcohol use: basic to clinical studies. Annals NY Acad Sci 1021: 234–44.
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