Program targets teen drinking

John Tonkin College students are taking part in the Smart Generation project to reduce adolescent alcohol use.
John Tonkin College students are taking part in the Smart Generation project to reduce adolescent alcohol use.

The aim of the program is to raise awareness about teen drinking and reduce adolescent alcohol use.

Three high schools are taking the message to Year 8 students and parents. Last year, three primary schools in Mandurah took up the project, targeting Year 7 pupils.

Program officer Nadine Radin said the Smart Generation project had a strong focus on enhancing conversations between parents and their teens, and setting rules around alcohol use.

‘Students have developed posters to convey the project’s message about delaying alcohol to 18 years old,’ she said.

‘The Australian National Guidelines recommend that young people should not drink alcohol before the legal drinking age of 18.

‘The guidelines advise parents and carers that children under 15 years are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking alcohol, and it is particularly important for this age group to abstain from drinking alcohol due to the developing brain.’

A 2006 Healthy Neighbourhood study showed the prevalence of alcohol use in Mandurah was progressively higher from Year 6 to Year 8 students. The study found 16.8 per cent of students in Year 6 and 19 per cent of students in Year 8 reported alcohol use.

Parents were found to be the main source of alcohol.

Visit www.keepemsafe.|com.au and www.alcoholthink|again.com.au.