“You need more images of the negative consequences of alcohol/other drug use.”
“Some more scary stories will really hit home the consequences of doing the wrong thing.”
“Include more about the consequences if things go wrong.”
This is a snapshot of suggestions that Encounter Youth sometimes gets, particularly from teachers after they see our Party Safe Education program for the first time. The lack of scary stories and shock tactics, and having a limited focus on the negative consequences are the most common criticisms we receive about our program. As it turns out, we intentionally do not use shock tactics, scary stories or fear-based approaches for a very good reason. Read More
While we are delivering our Party Safe Education program, we often ask what people consider to be the drug of most concern for young people. The majority of people we talk to view alcohol as the drug of most concern and this is supported by current research. For this reason, our seminars have a dominant focus on alcohol and how it may affect safety at a party. However, quite often we will get a teacher or parent asking us: “What about ice? Isn’t that the biggest drug of concern?”. Read More
The end of year festivities are just around the corner and many families are getting ready to celebrate. Over Christmas and New Year, some adults may choose to drink and some may choose not to, for a variety of reasons. However, we are particularly interested in how young people might choose to celebrate during the Christmas and New Year period. Our Party Safe Education program has many great opportunities to talk with parents through the year about busting some of the biggest myths around young people and celebrating but sometimes this can provoke some interesting follow-up questions. One parent recently came up and asked: “I let my children try alcohol for the first time during Christmas drinks, it was only one drink – this is okay right?”. Read More
Last week saw the release of the national data for the Australian Secondary Students’ Alcohol and other Drug (ASSAD) survey for 2014. This survey produces the most extensive statistics about young people and drugs in Australia, and what decisions they are making. Approximately 25,000 students aged 12-17 years participate in the survey every 3 years. At Encounter Youth, many of the students that we talk to in our Party Safe Education program tell us they are choosing not to drink. As such, we were excited to investigate this data to see if it matched up with our experience. So what decisions are young people making and are more choosing not to drink or use other drugs? Read More
When planning a party, there is a lot to think about. Invites, food, drinks, decorations, not to mention setting up beforehand and packing up afterwards. If the party is held at a person’s home, there is also the necessary preparation to ensure that valuables are protected. Whilst party safety may be high on the list of concerns for a parent, it may not be the same for a young person. Encounter Youth speak to parents throughout the year in our Party Safe Education program and we have compiled a party safe checklist for parents to work through with their young person. This can be helpful to ensure that important party safety concerns are talked about before the event. Read More
In July, a review of South Australia’s Liquor Licensing Act 1997 handed down 129 recommendations to the South Australian Government. Now the government has responded to the recommendations and indicated what the new drinking laws will look like in South Australia (SA). Encounter Youth provided a submission and consultation in the review and unpacked some of the recommendations in our previous blog. We have been eagerly waiting to see the government’s response. So what changes are in the works? Read More
One common question we often get from young people in regards to alcohol is “what’s the best hangover cure?” Recently, the methods employed to obtain the best hangover cure have become more elaborate.
During a Party Safe Education seminar earlier this year, a student asked if eating charcoal helped sober someone up and reduce hangover symptoms (Sorry, it doesn’t work). Some people have even turned the reported hangover cure methods into a business. Last year, Sydney saw the launch of a hangover clinic as well as a doctor-to-your-door service claiming to be able to cure a hangover in as little as 30 minutes – for a fee. Does it really work? Has this clinic answered the question of how to best cure a hangover? Read More
Pill testing and pill testing kits have been a hot topic in the media this year, especially around music festivals after several deaths linked to ecstasy pills last year. At Encounter Youth, we know that only a minority of people choose to take illicit drugs and most (if not all!) people are aware that they are unsafe. However, pill testing and pill testing kits are being promoted as a way to make drugs ‘safer‘. So what is pill testing and will it prevent drug-related deaths? Read More
Quick, reliable information on the effects of drugs can sometimes be hard to come by if someone doesn’t know where to look. Illicit drugs are, of course, unsafe due to the uncontrolled way they are manufactured and used. However, it’s sometimes helpful to know about drugs and their effects so that people are informed of specific risks. One great service that we have found is from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF). The ADF work to prevent problems for alcohol and other drugs in Australian communities through an evidence-based harm minimisation approach. Their service, titled, ‘‘get the effects by txt’ and does the work for people to give them accurate information on the effects of drugs, fast.