But Aussies have always liked a drink, right?

By Ruth Limkin

While Australians have always enjoyed a drink, alcohol culture has now changed so dramatically that experts are rethinking advice to parents about alcohol.

Paul Dillon, director of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia, has studied changes in attitudes to, and abuse of, alcohol and made this interesting statement.

“For years when I was asked how and when to introduce alcohol to children, my response was ‘before someone else does and as early as you think appropriate,” Mr Dillon said. “That message has changed dramatically.”

Why such a change?

Consider this:

  • 20% of young Australians aged 16 regularly binge drink.
  • This rises to half of all 18 year olds who regularly binge drink.
  • One in three children aged 12 to 17 now turn to mum or dad to provide their alcohol.
  • 5 young Australians die every week due to binge drinking incidents.
  • Children as young as 10 are now needing treatment for alcoholism
CEO of Ted Noffs Foundation, working in rehabilitation, said it bluntly when he stated, “We are really not taking this problem seriously.”
It’s quite likely that our experience from yesterday doesn’t equip us for today’s discussion so it’s time to re-educate ourselves.
Solutions and advice from ten years ago don’t work. The culture and landscape has changed dramatically. So should our response.
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ruth@ruthlimkin.com