Moved Mountains

Banner - Mt Trio, Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia - (c) 2007

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Are our attitudes to alcohol killing our kids?

The West Australian Newspaper published the results of a joint study between the paper and HBF (a health insurance organisation) in WA where more than 650 people between the ages of 15 and 30 were questioned on their attitudes toward alcohol, drugs and binge drinking.

76% of those polled admitted to regularly binge drinking*.

This afternoon (after reading the survey results in the paper) I was told a 16 year old boy died on the weekend after "sculling" (rapidly consuming) a bottle of whisky on Saturday night. This boy was a part of the extended network of young people we work with through Alternat[Or] and his death has hit hard. But not hard enough to change young peoples drinking habits.

Our attitude to alcohol is killing our kids.

This is something we need to take incredibly seriously.

Through my work professionally, and informally, in working with, mentoring and diverting young people involved in problem drug and alcohol use, I have found the number one most effective way of achieving positive change is via meaningful, genuine, ongoing relationship.

I have seen many young people completely change their attitudes and behaviour to drug and alcohol use through an ongoing process of engagement and mentoring/discipleship.

Unfortunately, there are not many of us willing to invite young people into our lives, and even fewer willing to critically assess their own liberty - their own social use of drugs - and they way it impinges on the development of the next generation of Australian adults.

What are you prepared to do? What are your answers and/or experiences in dealing with the cultural of heavy drinking that exists in our society?

*Just a quick disclaimer! I'm working from memory. If this isn't the exact figure, it's pretty bloody close. I can't find the results online and don't have a copy of the paper as I read it while having a cuppa in the cafe this morning.

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