Term 3 2018 Parents
Positive Choices Issue #13: Keeping you up-to-date with evidence-based drug prevention.
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The aim of this e-newsletter is to provide our subscribers with information about new research findings and drug prevention resources, and to share relevant news, conferences and events.
Thank you for subscribing to the Positive Choices newsletter, and welcome to our Term 3 issue for 2018.
In this issue, we focus on preventing harm from alcohol and other drugs among young people living in rural areas. We are also pleased to announce: 
  • our next webinar, hosted by Paul Dillon, on how parents can keep their teenager safe at parties and events
  • the Illicit Project pilot study, a new drug education program that is looking for schools to take part in testing the program
 Please help us spread the word by forwarding this newsletter to other parents in your networks, and encourage them to subscribe at www.positivechoices.org.au. 

Preventing alcohol and other drug harms among rural young people


Young people living in regional and rural areas are at higher risk of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use, and at greater risk of harm from alcohol use.

Parents and friends are strong influences in a young person's choice to use alcohol or drugs. It can be hard to know what strategies can help reduce the risk of drug and alcohol harms in young people, with a lot of different parenting advice and opinions. However, the research tells us about 3 behaviours that increase risk, and 3 ways to reduce the risk for young people.

Three behaviours that increase young people's risk include:
  • Young people whose parents show they approve of alcohol are more likely to misuse alcohol. Approval of alcohol can be shown through conversation (for example, parents talking about how much fun they had at a time when they were drinking) or actions (for example, supplying your child with alcohol to take to a party)
  • Parents' own use of alcohol can influence their child's use. Be aware of how often and how much you drink, as children often model their parents' behaviour
  • Supplying teenagers with alcohol, even in the home, increases their risk of binge drinking and problems with alcohol throughout their life
Some ways to protect young people include:
  • Having clear rules about alcohol and other drug use is one of the best ways to help guide your child's behaviour. This can be especially effective if you can meet with other parents from the school community and agree on rules and expectations. This helps with consistency and means your child can't try this line on you: "but everyone else's parents let them do ..." 
  • Have a conversation with your child about drugs and alcohol. Watch Positive Choices' webinar on How to Talk with Teenagers about Alcohol Use, or read our factsheet here.
  • Provide teenagers with a choice to participate in drug- and alcohol-free activities, such as sport, or give them leadership roles. Organising community events such as midnight basketball or open-air movie nights can be a great way to move the focus of social events away from drugs and alcohol. Involving young people in planning these events is important
There are many other strategies to help protect young people living in regional or remote areas. Positive Choices' has developed a new fact sheet examining solutions for both parents and teachers. See for yourself how you can help!
Presented by Paul Dillon of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia (DARTA).

Teenage parties provide young people with valuable opportunities to develop a range of social skills that they need to relate effectively with their peers. As they get older alcohol is more likely to become a part of these social gatherings and, unfortunately, things can go wrong. 

This presentation will examine what we know about school-based young people and alcohol use and its use at parties. It will also provide practical strategies and simple tips for parents considering allowing their teen to attend such events to help ensure they are as safe as possible. 


This webinar will provide: 

  • information about teenage parties and the involvement of alcohol
  • practical strategies and advice for parents to make sure their child is a safe as possible when attending a party 
Please pass on to any other parents in your networks who may be interested.

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, is seeking expressions of interest from schools to take part in a pilot study of neuroscience-based drug education.

The "Illicit Project Pilot Study" is a new school-based drug education program being run by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW. This will be the first trial of a science-based, peer-led, drug literacy program in schools across Sydney.

The program targets students aged 15-18 (school years 10-12) and covers the following topics:
  • Alcohol and the growing adolescent brain
  • Recreational drugs and the reward pathway
  • Mental health and wellbeing
If you think your child's school would be interested in participating in the trial, please ask them to submit an expression of interest via the below button!
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer on 0416 512 731 or j.debenham@unsw.edu.au.
Listen to the Positive Choices team present, or catch up with us at our booth / display, at these upcoming events.
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