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West Glasgow Youngsters Speak Out About Under Age Drinking

July 30, 2009 4:22 PM

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A remarkable DVD has been produced of teenagers speaking frankly about the effect of alcohol on their lives.

The short film has been made by West Glasgow Community Health and Care Partnership (CHCP), of which NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is a partner, and features young people between 11 to 18 years talking candidly about their first experiences of underage drinking.

Part of the CHCP’s Health Improvement and Inequalities Campaign, it is to be used together with a resource pack, and its aims include reducing the availability of alcohol to youngsters via adults buying it for them, promoting responsible sales practice by the off-sales industry and suggesting alternative activities.

Sarah Brady, Health Improvement Senior with West Glasgow CHCP, said: “Young people in the area have taken a stand against underage drinking and the DVD is a production of short stories based on the real-life experiences of young people living in the area exploring the effects of alcohol on young people, their families and communities and their efforts to break from the cycle.”

Amongst the comments made by the youngsters are waking up with cuts and bruises and not remembering what happened, and one teenage girl comments “I drink because I like myself when I am drunk, I think I am boring, I’m quite shy and think people like me better when I am drunk.”

Others talk about the effect it has had on their education by being suspended from school because of turning up drunk, alcohol-fueled violence and the peer pressure to drink.

Sarah went on: “This project will assist to encourage and develop ways to support and empower individuals, families and communities to reduce alcohol-related harm, and is also an opportunity to engage young people, parents, licensees and community members on key alcohol-related health topics and issues.”

Plans are being drawn up to distribute the resource pack and begin the debate amongst youngsters around the issues of underage drinking.

Notes to Editors:
The pack itself also contains a number of facts and figures, including that fact that friends and relatives are the most common source of purchasing alcohol for under age drinkers.

And according to the Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey more than a third of all 15-year-olds reported having a drink in the last week, and the average number of units of alcohol drunk by school pupils who drank within the last week was 13 units for 13-year-olds and 16 units for 15-year-olds.

For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.

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