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EYE-BALL Opinion – Schoolies Week Starts – The Booze for Kids debate again heats up –

November 20, 2012

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– 2nd Nov – A Montage of AWU Scandal Reports – Gillard to become “Open-Season” –

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– Schoolies Week Starts –
– The Booze for Kids debate again heats up –
| Author: EYE-BALL Opinion | 20th Nov 2012 |
Every year without fail the stories about parents and older siblings buying booze for their children or younger siblings attending SCHOOLIES week celebrations makes headlines around the Nation.

Here is the latest story on this years version –

Parents buying booze for minors: report

| Author: Melissa Davey | Date: Nov 20th, 2012 | Link to On-Line Story. |

PARENTS are willing to buy alcohol for children as young as 14 even though they know it is illegal to do so, according to a new survey, but older brothers and sisters are most guilty of providing drinks to minors.

Research leader Sandra Jones said children were not only influencing their peers to drink, but were pressuring their parents and siblings to let them.

”Kids say to them, ‘Everyone else’s parents buy them alcohol, you’re the only one who doesn’t and I won’t fit in if you don’t’,” Professor Jones, from the University of Wollongong, said.

”To say to parents, ‘Just say no – your kids might hate you, have no friends and no one will come to their party but they’ll thank you when they’re 35’ – isn’t really convincing.”

More than 800 people from NSW were surveyed as part of her study of underage drinking, which was funded by the Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education and done in partnership with NSW police. It revealed a belief among adults that buying drinks for under-18s was normal and unlikely to result in penalties.

While nearly half of adults were likely to provide alcohol to 17-year-olds for a party in the home, almost one-fifth said they would also provide it to a 14-year-old in the same circumstances. The majority of minors said their parents were likely to provide alcohol at family events and supervised parties, while more than half said their parents would provide it for an unsupervised party.

”We need to change this idea that drinking underage is okay,” Professor Jones said. ”Parents think because they may have drunk when they were kids, their kids will be okay doing so too. But young people now are drinking more and in much more harmful situations.”

Education focused on consequences such as getting into fights or drink-driving, she said, but not as much on short-term health effects.

Research has shown that the brain does not stop developing until someone reaches their early 20s and that alcohol can disrupt this critical period of development.

Advertising needed to target older siblings, she said, because they were most willing to buy alcohol for underage siblings. Most adults also said they knew buying alcohol for minors was illegal.

”There is a perception that the government, police and health bodies are trying to restrict people’s ability to drink, that they’re treating people like babies, it’s a nanny state,” Professor Jones said.

”But we need regulation and laws because the medicinal evidence is actually really clear that if you drink at that age, it does permanent harm.”

A researcher from the University of NSW National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Matthew Sunderland, said that those young people who binged were also least likely to respond to single measures, such as increasing the price of wine.

His study of Saturday night drinking found the heaviest drinkers also consumed the cheapest alcohol, were not fussy about what they drank and drank at multiple locations.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/parents-buying-booze-for-minors-report-20121119-29m9v.html#ixzz2Cirhto9B

There are laws about supplying under age drinkers – yet in this week of Australia’s version of ‘spring-break’, the youthful release is most often measured by the amount of booze consumed.

One could say – the laws of the land don’t apply for these few weeks of the year called ‘Schoolies-Week’.

The Gold Coast – the most famous of all the Schoolies Week venues, have special task force structures set up by the Police, and community groups to protect the underage drinkers from predators intent on taking advantage of inebriated girls and the like.

Special beach sections are created, events structured to entice activity rather then just the drinking – but the school leavers just want to create new memories and most often, memories some of them will never want to remember.

What is a society’s function if not to protect its emerging generation form self-harm?

Yet this week is most often about parents rolling the dice and hoping their children all come home safe. There have been deaths, 1000’s of hospitalisations, 10,000’s of minor injuries, and 100,000’s of hangovers where alcohol abuse is the most obvious diagnosis.

Drug use is also becoming big – and the dealers are the ones taking advantage and where most Law enforcement is targeted.

To the larger responsibility upon society and to the booze culture the Schoolies Week represents – is it symbolic of a society using alcohol as an escape from the nuances created by a complex society where the pressures of life often become too great?

The ‘Depression’ epidemic and its many formats is symbolic of some of these societal changes, what did people do in past generations to deal with similar issues – was it always booze or drugs?

These days our school children are mixed up in and a part of the depressive epidemic, broken homes, conflict within the family, little support group network, reclusiveness, and dark periods requiring full time school councillors assistance, they are all indicating our youth are not coping well.

The warning signs are lit up all around – how much notice or attention is paid to these signals?

Is Schoolies Week one of those solution to the problem things, or is it the creation of a problem that impacts on the life still be be lived?

What do you think of parents supplying the alcohol – are you one of them? Perhaps you could tell us your reasons … I’ve heard many and most are about the legal implications of kids trying to buy the booze themselves.

But that is the problem – the Law seems to turn a blind eye to the supply chain, but are happy to confiscate the booze if they find underage drinking … is that not all turn around from a law standpoint …

To all Schoolies Week revellers – stay safe in these next few weeks as you test the waters of a life after school – you represent the hope my generation have for this Nation’s future … be secure in your choices …

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Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s

The EYE-BALL Opinion …

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