The Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council of Tasmania would like to remind the Tasmanian community that graduating school should be a highlight, rather than tragedy, on the eve of schoolies celebrations across the nation, with thousands of Tasmanian senior students gathering at popular beachside destinations to mark the annual schoolies tradition.
“Excessive drinking does not come without cost,” says Policy, Research and Communications Manager of the ATDC, Kris McCracken, “On average, 1 in 4 hospitalisations of young people aged 15 to 24 happen because of alcohol.”
The ATDC acknowledges the right of students to celebrate after working hard to complete their studies, but calls for caution in a period of great risk.
“It’s always devastating to see young people with their whole life in front of them destroyed by making bad choices about alcohol and other drugs,” Mr McCracken said.
In plain terms, alcohol is the drug which kills on average more than 60 people each week and hospitalises another 1500. All indications are numbers will continue to rise – unless significant changes are made in alcohol policy, licensing laws and more is invested in frontline alcohol, tobacco and other drugs services.
“We must take the harmful effects of drinking more seriously as a culture. Alcohol is a drug too. Binge drinking is partly why alcohol is linked to the deaths of people aged under 35 more than any other drug.”
The ATDC applauds measures implemented by the Tasmanian Government to curb binge drinking such as strengthening the safeguards around the supply of alcohol to young people on private property.
“It is timely that parents and guardians of young people make it their business to know what safeguards they must adhere to if they make a decision to responsibly provide alcohol to young people.”
“It should be noted that this legislation supports a responsible approach by parents, guardians and other adults with parental rights who choose to provide alcohol to people under 18.”
The Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council of Tasmania