Campaign targets young drinkers
The Department of National Drug Control is to target young people to prevent alcohol and drug abuse.
Attorney-General Kathy-Lynn Simmons made the announcement at a press conference this morning highlighting Alcohol Awareness Month, which runs throughout April.
Ms Simmons added that the department would conduct a National School Survey 2019 of middle and senior school students on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in the latter part of this year.
She said that 52.6 per cent of M2 to S4 students reported that they had used alcohol at least once in their lifetime. About a third of those reported use in the last 12 months.
Ms Simmons said: “These results are very concerning as alcohol use and abuse remains one of the greatest challenges facing Bermuda’s youth.
“Parents: set a positive example, get involved in your children’s lives. Get involved in their activities, know their friends, know where they are going and what they are doing.
“Create clear, consistence expectations and enforce them.
“Talk early and often about drugs and alcohol, discuss the consequences and show you care enormously about what choices your child make.”
Ms Simmons said the Drug Prevention Unit of the DNDC will host community education activities at sporting events and at the senior school level to “create awareness and to encourage our community to get educated about the harms associated with alcohol and to seek assistance for alcohol related problems”.
Anthony Santucci, executive director for anti-alcohol abuse charity CADA, said that the theme of this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week was “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow”.
Mr Santucci said: “Alcohol Awareness Month provides a focused opportunity across Bermuda to increase awareness and understanding of alcohol addiction, its causes, effective treatment, and recovery.
“During this call to action, parents need to know that progress is being made in the struggle to address underage drinking in our community.
“Research shows that kids who learn about the dangers of underage drinking from their parents are up 50 per cent less likely to experiment than kids who don’t. So, help connect the dots for your kids about alcohol use. It’s worth it.”
To learn more about underage drinking, visit: www.cada.bm
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