Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Drinkaware/Guardian Survey

Drinkaware have details of their (and the Guardian’s) survey about young people’s drinking and a report on a round table discussion about the results on their website.

While the professionals that were surveyed suggested that parents should take the lead in educating their children about alcohol, the Co-founder and Deputy Director of the National Social Marketing Centre, Clive Blair-Stevens, used the round table to suggest that:

schools have to avoid a “narrow education model” that concentrates on information giving.

“Lessons in schools work when they focus on understanding the social context for young people,” he said. “They need to look at the influences in their lives, such as their friends. And how to help them prepare some life skills, so when the information comes in they can process it effectively themselves.”

Professionals were clear that there needs to be more joint working on young people’s drinking:

more than nine out of 10 professionals working with young people said they felt agencies, parents and schools needed to work together better to prevent the harm done by alcohol.

The parents that took part in the survey suggested that only a minority take the initiative in talking to their children about alcohol:

Four out of 10 parents surveyed said they would proactively teach their children about alcohol and thought the right age to broach the subject, on average, was around 14 and a half.

And even then they may have missed an opportunity as the young people surveyed said they’d had their first drink at 13.  More optimistically young people reaffirmed the importance of parental messages:

Half of those young people surveyed said they currently listen to their parents about drinking alcohol, More than a third said they would prefer to listen to their parents about drinking alcohol (rather than friends and siblings). Only 3% wanted to listen to teachers.

Half the young people surveyed also said they’d seen their parents drunk and the same proportion of parents said they don’t moderate their drinking in front of their children.

The Guardian also has a report on the discussion which was wide ranging involving a government minister, industry and health experts.

The story says the survey has found:

Nearly 80% of the 553 16- and 17-year-olds questioned said they drank at friends’ houses, 44% kept their own drinks at home, and 60% saw it as a normal part of growing up. But just 15% regarded getting drunk as behaviour that caused them the most concern, far behind committing a crime, having unsafe sex, taking drugs or failing exams.

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Filed under: alcohol

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