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The Tomorrow Project's response to New Zealand’s alcohol problem

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Tomorrow Project Executive Director Matt Claridge says while increasing the price of alcohol may encourage some to drink less in the short term, a better way of driving a cultural change in the way New Zealanders drink is through education.

"Internationally, we know that dedicated responsible drinking education for young people at a formative age, reduces the likelihood of them drinking to excess when they’re older.

"Initiatives such as Smashed Project, which we launched earlier this year for Year 9s and are currently securing funding for further growth, are shown to impact the attitudes and behaviour when it comes to alcohol in a positive way."

This year, the Smashed Project, a Theatre-in-Education programme designed to equip 13-14-year-old students with the social skills they need to deal with peer pressure around drinking alcohol, reached more than a third (21,000) Year 9 students across New Zealand.

After participating in the programme, 82% of students surveyed agreed it was a good way to learn about the dangers of alcohol. Nearly 75% of teachers said they were more confident to discuss the effects and influences on behaviour of alcohol after watching the Smashed Project with almost 97% of teachers saying they will use the programme again in 2020.

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