Excessive Consumption of Alcohol and Drugs among School Leavers

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Every year thousands of Year 12 students get ready for schoolies week to celebrate graduating, in addition each year thousands of schoolies face serious health risk with studies showing that up to 58% of young people reported blacking out, 41% reported being injured, 40% reported having unprotected sex, 39% reported illicit drug use, 16% reported passing out drunk, 10% reported being involved in a fight and 7% reported driving after drinking at schoolies week (DEP, 2014). Excessive alcohol and drug consumption and experiences of related harms from alcohol and drugs are common among young people who are attending schoolies week. Each year the consumption of alcohol for underage young people attending schoolies is significantly dropping as the rise of taking illicit drugs is rising with more and more schoolies preferring to take MDMA or caps. Due to these increasingly worrying, statistics young students need to start being educated on the dangers of drug consumption and the effects they can have.

Define the Issue

With thousands of school leavers flocking to party cities for schoolies around 80% of them are under the age of 18 which in result leads to them being restricted to streets, beaches and hotel room to party which can increase the danger levels as they aren’t in a safe and secure environment. The use of illicit drugs has become increasingly high with dangerous risk-taking behavior and substance abuse being some of the leading causes of injury and death (young people, 2004). With poor education of the dangers of substance abuse and how to safely use equipment or take small quantities, a study showed that 4.4% admitted to injecting a drug and an even more overwhelming majority stated that they shared a needle or syringe with someone else (unknown, 2013). Australia has seen a 12.7% increase in the use of MDMA between 2015 and 2016, with reports stating that the MDMA pills are containing one of the highest doses that they have ever contained with the pills being dangerously high in concentration and purity (Bishop, 2017).

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Current Action Area

Schoolies has always been the center of attention when it comes to young school leavers celebrating with both concerns and excitement on the particular week for school leavers to celebrate graduating high school. There are many concerns for schoolies and the safety of the young adults with underage drinking, no parental supervision and substance abuse, due to these increasing concerns there have been a number of originations trying their best to help reduce the risk of drug abuse, for instance, the alcohol and drug foundation is trying to spread awareness of the dangers and risk that could possibly occur during schoolies and also has a reminder of what the laws are if your caught with drugs and how depending on the amount you have you can be arrest and get a criminal record which will ruin possible future opportunities (ADF, 2018). Government foundations like the Department of Health Organisation also try and spread awareness to both the school leavers attending schoolies, but also the parents, by high lighting what they can do to stay safe and smart and what the parents can be doing to prepare their child and try and ensure their safety as well as they can (DEP, 2018). Although nothing can be done to stop all school leaver from underage drinking and substance abuse, we can reduce the risks and consumption by spreading awareness and educating them on the dangers.


Shalom College needs to start taking immediate action that will be significantly effective towards the issue of school leavers (schoolies) to ensure that the graduating Year 12 students are as safe as they can be and are fully educated and aware of the dangers and risks that schoolies holds if you’re not smart and safe this will create a supportive environment by offering students education that could protect them from factors that can threaten good health (WHO, 1986). To do this Shalom College needs to start educating students of the dangers from a young age preferably year 9 till 12, by having a mandatory class that everyone has to take that occurs at least once a week. By doing this it will give students 4 years to get well educated on schoolies and the risks and danger that may occur if you’re not safe and could reduce their risk-taking behaviors. Through the years the method should change for each grade for year 11 and 12 they should hear the stories of people who have been affected negatively from schoolies from alcohol, drugs, rape etc. or get someone who lost a family member/friend from risk-taking at schoolies, by doing this it will make a large impact on the students as they will realize that it does happen and how it can affect others. Studies have shown that educating young students on drugs is beneficial as it can stop or delay the use, preventing or delaying use at a young age is crucial as it predicts problems and dependence later in life. If the Shalom College community can make the effort to do this for years 9-12 it is likely to be effective and reduce use, short- and long-term harms.

Consequently, due to poor education each year more and more school leavers are taking part in risk-taking behaviors with 80% of school leavers celebrating in Gold Coast are under the age of 18 which means there restricted to hotels beaches and the streets for partying with easy access to drugs and are vulnerable (Wolfe, 2018). With students not being educated on the dangers of drugs and especially unsafe and smart drug use and the dangers of certain amounts you take or the consequences of sharing a needle or syringe, several students are left at risk of the unknown dangers. A study found that a total of 4.4% admitted to injecting a drug and an overwhelming majority of them shared a need or a syringe with someone else.


With the increasingly worrying issue of drug abuse in schoolies, and the poor education that both students and parents have in regards to the dangers of not only schoolies week and underage drinking, but also substance abuse.

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Excessive Consumption of Alcohol and Drugs among School Leavers. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/excessive-consumption-of-alcohol-and-drugs-among-school-leavers/
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