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De-Normalisation - How To Reduce Alcohol Harm Amongst Young People

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
De-Normalisation - How To Reduce Alcohol Harm Amongst Young People

Research just published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry shows there are six things that parents can do to reduce the risk of alcohol related harm in their children. These include: - not getting intoxicated in front of them; - not supplying them with alcohol;

And four further general parenting strategies directed at their children: - expressing warmth and affection - maintaining positive communication - monitoring their activities and who their friends are - instituting consequences for wayward behaviour.

"One of the key issues coming out of this research is the lack of any evidence showing that normalising the use of alcohol is a good prevention strategy" says Professor Doug Sellman of the University of Otago, Christchurch, who was invited to write an accompanying commentary.

"In fact the opposite is the case. The less alcohol is normalised in family life, and particularly when parents avoid being at all intoxicated in front of their children or supplying them with alcohol, the better the prevention of alcohol problems in young people will be" he says.

There is an obvious parallel to this for society at large, where the Government, on behalf of all of us has a responsibility to lead the reduction of alcohol-related harm across the population"

"There are clear evidence-based measures based around pricing, accessibility and advertising that the Government could institute to reinstate the idea that alcohol is not an ordinary commodity and that heavy drinking is not normal" says Professor Jennie Connor, Head of Preventive and Social Medicine at the University of Otago, Dunedin.

"Normalisation was one of the great selling points of the 1989 alcohol reforms, which opened the flood gates for supermarket sales and ubiquitous cheap alcohol supply. This has turned out to be a mistake and needs to be turned around".

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