The HSE has expressed concern about the number of drinking promotions already on offer to young people getting their Leaving Cert results this week.
Over 55,000 people received their results yesterday and many of these are expected to attend parties in nightclubs and other venues nationwide for the next few nights
The HSE is urging parents to talk to their children about alcohol, pointing out that direct alcohol promotions are already taking place.
“Examples of these events pages online encourage attendees to ‘celebrate your results or drown your sorrows’ with promotions such as €3 drinks, ‘vodka boats’, free shot of choice, glass of bubbly on arrival, a free bottle of champagne with tickets, ‘pints, bottles and Jägerbombs’ or five free drinks tokens,” the HSE warned.
It noted that while many students are over 18 and legally entitled to consume alcohol, drinking in this manner poses ‘a significant hazard to their health’ and leaves them vulnerable to taking risks. Meanwhile, others who are underage may feel pressured to drink.
“When young people are targeted with cheap alcohol promotions, it can result in them drinking a lot of alcohol in a short period of time. This can cause rapid intoxication resulting in young people feeling disinhibited and leading to changes in their behaviour and taking risks they wouldn’t normally consider.
“These include drug taking, unprotected sex, possible aggression and getting into fights. They may also experience lowering of mood and, in some cases, depression or anxiety can be worsened. We need to talk to our teenagers about the effects on their health of excessive drinking and how to avoid risk-taking behaviour,” commented Dr Eamon Keenan, the HSE’s national clinical lead of addiction services.
Parents are advised to set boundaries when it comes to their children’s drinking. For example, young people should be advised not to mix drinks and to avoid shots. Parents are also being reminded to find out what their child’s plans are for the night, including who they will be with and how they are getting home.
Information on drugs is also available here, while the Alcohol and Drugs Helpline can be reached on 1800 459 459 between the hours of 9.30am and 5.30pm.(Irishhealth.com)