Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Setting a Good Example about Alcohol Danger

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Setting a Good Example about Alcohol Danger

Article excerpt

Byline: Coping with kids with Dr John Irvine

ANGIE was just 16.

She was brought in to the Accident and Emergency Unit at Royal North Shore last weekend, unconscious and emergency procedures were commenced to get her blood pressure up, clear the vomit, warm her up and get her life ticking again.

When the doctors checked her blood alcohol level they found it was 0.40.

Only one out of two people with a reading that high survive.

Yet her friends said that she had just had a few drinks and were pretty disgusted that she had passed out and that they had been forced to leave the party to bring her in.

Angie was just a nuisance to them, robbing them of fun time and learning nothing from it at all.

I wonder what Angie was to her parents - just a nuisance?

And why were not the parents bringing her in or at least hot-tailing it to the hospital to look after her?

That was just one of the stories being shared by doctors and specialists at the launch of the "Drinkwise" campaign with the slogan "kids and alcohol don't mix".

You may have seen the ad showing mum and dad preparing for a party and their 14 to 15 year old asking can he have a drink too.

On the ad the parents look at each other and shrug and nod indicating that they felt they could not say no.

What would you have said?

The ad is deliberately open-ended in the hope that parents will ask the question as to what they would do when confronted with this question-

And confronted they certainly will be in a culture where alcohol is regarded as a rite de passage to adulthood.

But make no mistake.

Parents need to be strong and united in saying no to teenage drinking - not because they want to be spoil-sports, but because the stats are frighteningly stark.

Let me share some of the research evidence.

Parents are still the most powerful influence in the 12 to 17 year age group.

The risk of harm to teenagers in the form of violence, rape, criminal behaviour, car accidents, fights, loss of memory etc escalates with every drop of alcohol they have.

Alcohol is really a poison affecting every part of their body and killing six times more teenagers than all the other drugs combined. …

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