26th October, 2021 — Alcohol
Tips for parents: School leavers’ celebrations
As we head toward the end of the year, Leavers/Schoolies celebrations are top of mind for many young people finishing up their final year of school. It’s an exciting time for them to get away with friends and relax, after what might have been a very stressful year.
We’ve got a few tips for parents to pass on to your school leaver, to help them stay safe while celebrating.
You can also check out our tips for talking to young people about alcohol and other drugs.
Take care of yourself and your friends
When having an open conversation with the young person in your life, let them know it’s important for them and their friends to look out for one another.
- Keep in contact with friends and share your movements, so that no one ends up alone.
- Look out for your friends and make sure they get home safely. If no one is leaving with them, wait with them until they get in a taxi.
- Phones can run out of battery so it’s good to create a plan if you are separated from your friends, such as a meet-up spot.
- Keep your belongings on you and don’t rely on others to look after your phone or bag – you don’t want to be left alone without money or the ability to contact others.
- Know the address of your hotel or accommodation so you can get home safely.
Reducing the risks of drinking
It's important for young people to be aware that drinking impacts on your decision-making skills, leading to a higher chance of injuries and accidents.
- A good way to make sure you enjoy a night out is to be aware of how much you are drinking, so you can keep track and know when to stop. If you’re making your own drinks, use a shot glass to measure liquor, that way you will know you’re consuming a standard drink.
- Remember the ‘10 and 4’ rule: to reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury for adults, drink no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day. People under 18 years of age shouldn’t drink any alcohol.
- Alternating an alcoholic drink with a glass of water or soft drink is a good tactic to avoid drinking too much too soon, it also keeps you hydrated and can help you avoid an unwanted hangover the next day.
- Try not to consume too much caffeine and avoid energy drinks as combining them with alcohol can lead to drinking too much.
- Avoid activities where accidents can easily occur, such as swimming.
- Remember to use lots of sunscreen as drinking increases your risk of sunburn and heatstroke.
- Don’t risk driving. Even a small amount of alcohol in your system can impair your judgement and lead to deadly accidents. For learner or probationary drivers, you must have a zero-blood alcohol concentration. It is also important to be aware that drinking the night before can result in still being over the limit the next day.
Nobody should ever feel like it’s their responsibility to prevent their drink being spiked. And, it’s never a person’s fault if they’re the victim of a drink spiking incident.
Young people can use some of these simple strategies when out at a pub, club or party, if they do feel worried about a drink being spiked:
- have your drink close to you and keep an eye on it
- avoid sharing drinks
- if someone you don’t know very well offers you a drink, go to the bar with them and watch the bartender pour your drink
- if you think your drink tastes weird, pour it out
- buy or pour your own drinks – many people have their drinks spiked by someone they know
- keep an eye on your friends and their drinks.
If you suspect your drink or a friend’s drink has been spiked, call an ambulance immediately by dialing triple zero (000).