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Including young people in the discussion on reducing alcohol-related harm.

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Presentation on theme: "Including young people in the discussion on reducing alcohol-related harm."— Presentation transcript:

1 Including young people in the discussion on reducing alcohol-related harm

2 The Commissioner’s role Commissioner for Children and Young People Act 2006 Advocacy and influencing Best interests of all children and young people Priority to specific groups Independent of Government Reports to Parliament

3 Reducing alcohol-related harm on children and young people WA Parliamentary Inquiry into alcohol and illicit drug problems (2011) Painted Dog Research commissioned to conduct consultation Reference group formed to advise on methodology Consultation with ≈ 300 young people aged 14 to 17 years

4 Young people’s views sought Culture of alcohol consumption o in the broader community o among young people What influences decision making about alcohol Concerns about alcohol Strategies to reduce alcohol-related harm

5 Methodology Small group interviews (72) On-line survey (200) 53% female, 47% males 71% metro, 29% regional 7% Aboriginal, 14% CaLD Range of alcohol consumption patterns (own and parents), different socio-economic backgrounds, and ‘at-risk’ groups.

6 Views about the culture of alcohol “The problem is with the culture. Australian is - beer in one hand.” “ I reckon it’s part of the culture, like especially you can see it on Australia Day a lot, everyone gets smashed.” “I think that there is a drinking culture in Australia – not drinking stands out and it shouldn’t.”

7 Young people and alcohol “I think the drinking culture in teenagers is different to adults. With adults it’s like have a glass of wine at a dinner party and a beer at the pub, that sort of thing…they would drink more than the standard probably, but it’s not like excessive, hangover the next day type of stuff.”

8 Young people and alcohol “Can’t have a good time without it!” “Don’t drink by yourself… only with friends.” “Drink until you pass out… or it’s all gone.” “The drinking culture is to get smashed, not everyone does, but it’s like the norm.” “It takes away your problems for the night but then they come back in the morning.”

9 Not all young people drink “I’m the odd one out and I will say that I am allowed to drink but I just don’t.” “Not all of us drink and the media needs to give us a voice as well.”

10 Knowledge Extensive knowledge about alcohol-related harms Considerable variation in knowledge on guidelines “Did you say guidelines? There’s a guideline?” “Depends on how good you are at handling it.” “Basically they are just telling us that women can’t handle anything.”

11 Concerns about alcohol Violence Drink driving Damage to reputation Looking after their mates Family conflict and violence

12 Influences

13 Influences - parents “ My dad’s like you’ve got underarm hair – you’re old enough to drink.” “Even when I was 12 I was like drinking at Christmas.” “Having parents at home who drink responsibly really helps… I am lucky as I have great role models in my mum and step-dad.”

14 Influences - friends “You have to say ‘no’ over and over again.” “If you don’t drink, you don’t fit in.” “If someone offers you something… you’re out there to drink so you are not going to say ‘no’.” “Friends egging you on.” “Stay with your mates – they look after you – stop you from drinking too much.”

15 0-2 Not at all Effective 3-45 8-10 Extremely Effective 6-7 Least effective

16 Alcohol-free activities “Convince teens that you don’t have to get drunk to be cool.” “If the artists themselves at the festivals were like, ‘yeah it’s an alcohol free event and it’s a good day’.. Then yeah that would convince people not to drink.”

17 Education “ Definitely effective so long as they don’t lecture us. If it’s like ‘don’t drink, don’t drink, don’t drink’ then we will - we need tips.” “I learnt all about alcohol at school, the dangers and things like that, and it hasn’t really changed my views.” “I’ve had no bad experiences when I’m drunk.”

18 Secondary supply legislation “It’s already illegal…isn’t it already illegal?” “I don’t like the idea of it being illegal, but I think it should be – parents are responsible for you.” “Very hard to stop or police. We will always want to experiment.”

19 Contrary views Concerns about potential of some strategies to increase the harm “Having the price up just makes mum lose more money.” Not always consistent with research

20 Summary Young people are diverse – one size does not fit all Their voices are powerful in communicating the messages Influence of broader culture “Australians live their lives around alcohol and how drunk they can get. Just teach people not to be idiots when it comes to the consumption of alcohol!”

21 What we have done with these views Published reports and policy briefs Written to ministers Included views in submissions and other work Co-hosted seminars Feedback to children and young people


23 Commissioner for Children and Young People Email: Phone: (08) 6213 2297 Freecall 1800 072 444

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