Drug & Alcohol Awareness

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking – putting things in perspective

Binge drinking is not just about the number of drinks you have – it’s about drinking with the specific intention of ‘getting drunk’.

Binge drinking receives a great deal of media attention and can lead to shaping teens beliefs that this is the norm. There’s no denying that there are many young people who drink in risky ways, but there are many teenagers who are trying their best to keep themselves and their friends as safe as possible.

Remember: kids absorb your drinking.

Australian research shows that in 2011 around 63% of 17 year olds were not considered to be current drinkers, so this finding may chal- lenge the belief that everybody

is doing it. However of those 17 year olds who were considered to be current drinkers, around 19% drank in a risky way (more than 4 drinks) at least once in the week before they were surveyed.

That means there’s only a minority of kids who are binge drinking – but they’re still obvious and influential.

Some young people ‘preload’ to save money – quickly drinking large amounts of alcohol at home before heading out. Often they’re already intoxicated before they walk out the front door. By the time they get to where they’re going their judgement is clouded, causing them to continue drink- ing more than they intended to, so they don’t save money at all.

If your teen really believes getting drunk every weekend is normal, there could be other factors at play. Perhaps there are other influences in their lives (peers, older siblings, relatives) or problems that you’re unaware of. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.

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