Parents Need to Lead Responsible Drinking Behaviour

Press Release – The Tomorrow Project

Parents are being urged to take the lead and talk to their teenagers now about responsible drinking after the latest Ministry of Health figures show well over half (56.3%) of Kiwi 15-17-year-olds have drunk alcohol in the last year and 7.6% (or 15,000) …Parents Need to Lead Responsible Drinking Behaviour

Parents are being urged to take the lead and talk to their teenagers now about responsible drinking after the latest Ministry of Health figures show well over half (56.3%) of Kiwi 15-17-year-olds have drunk alcohol in the last year – and 7.6% (or 15,000) are drinking at hazardous levels.

Responsible drinking champion Matt Claridge, Chief Executive of the Tomorrow Project that leads the Cheers! social change campaign, says parents have the biggest impact on their teenagers’ drinking habits – and it’s vital they take the lead, model better drinking behaviour and regularly talk to them about drinking, especially heading into the post-exam holiday season.

“This is a critical group of New Zealanders who we know are drinking alcohol despite being under the legal drinking age,” says Mr Claridge.

“Our research shows that parents are still the biggest influencers on their children’s drinking behaviour and many are falling short when it comes to leading good behaviour and openly discussing rules and expectations.

“It’s crucial, especially now as we head into the holidays, that parents talk to their children about drinking.”

The new figures – from the Ministry of Health’s New Zealand Health Survey – show a decline in 18-24 year olds drinking at hazardous levels from 37.1% in 2015/16 to 32.9% in 2016/17, a drop of 19,000 young people.

Mr Claridge says new campaigns have been successful in educating young people around better drinking habits, particularly a campaign on understanding drink standards and the Sober Self chatbot– that has already signed up more than 12,500 people, half in the 18-24 year old group.

Says Mr Claridge: “It’s great to see a reduction in heavy drinking, especially in that younger age group, but we’ve still got a long way to go towards becoming a nation of responsible drinkers. The big issue is why we drink the way we do. We can change that by learning more about standard drinks and how to drink better.”

The Tomorrow Project is an industry-funded organisation committed to helping create a safe and responsible drinking culture in New Zealand through evidence-based, targeted interventions that address the reasons behind problem drinking.
To find out more about what a standard drink is – or whether your drinking is “normal”, go to cheers.org.nz.
ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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