Schoolies' plans surveyed
A new study has measured how much Schoolies intend to drink, and how little they can resist it.
The study found, unsurprisingly, school leavers who feel they are unable to refuse offers of alcoholic drinks plan to drink significantly more alcohol at end-of-school celebrations than those who are confident in saying no.
The survey of 586 Australian Year 11 and 12 students found 62 per cent intended to drink alcohol at levels associated with a short-term risk of harm - more than five drinks on a single occasion.
Interestingly, the younger Year 11 students seeking to take part in school leaver celebrations reported they would drink more alcohol than the Year 12 cohort.
Lead author, Curtin University’s Dr Michelle Jongenelis, from Curtin’s School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, said the results suggest there will indeed be high rates of alcohol consumption at large-scale school leaver celebrations.
“We need to increase leavers’ confidence in their ability to refuse unwanted alcoholic drinks in a bid to reduce the high rates of alcohol-related harm during large-scale youth events,” she said.
“We also found that school leavers who believed they would have access to a variety of both non-alcoholic activities and beverages during end-of-school celebrations reported greater confidence in their ability to refuse other people’s offers of alcohol.
“This highlights the importance of providing school leavers with a range of celebration options that do not involve the consumption of alcohol.”
It also suggested interventions to stem alcohol misuse needed to start well before Year 11.
The full paper can be viewed here.