School leavers have been urged by the AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, to enjoy their much-deserved fun and relaxation during Schoolies Week 2012 without resorting to binge drinking, which can often lead to other unhealthy or unsafe behavior.
The Schoolies Week season commences from 17 November in NSW and Queensland, with other States to follow in coming weeks.
AdvertisementIn the lead-up to Schoolies Week, Dr Hambleton will tomorrow officially open the Cringe the Binge National Weekend of Action in Byron Bay, one of the most popular destinations for school leavers looking to unwind after their exams.
Cringe the Binge is a community-wide Byron Bay movement that is promoting the message that young people can have a good time without alcohol and binge drinking.
Dr Hambleton said that Schoolies Week is a great way for young people to celebrate the transition from secondary school to university, employment, travel, or a gap year.
"It is important that young people celebrate in a way that doesn't see them ending up in emergency departments or in other unwanted situations that could change the course of their young lives or the lives of others," Dr Hambleton said.
"Young people should play it safe in Schoolies Week," Dr Hambleton said.
"They are travelling to some of the most beautiful holiday spots in the country and they should take the opportunity to relax, share time with their friends, make new friends, and enjoy the beaches and other local attractions.
"Celebrating the end of school and beginning a new stage of life should be about positive experiences and good memories, not accidents or misadventures.
"All it takes is common sense - do not binge drink, be alert to drink 'spiking', avoid drugs, do not drink and drive, avoid balconies if intoxicated, be cautious when texting or tweeting or using other forms of social media, and use sun protection when outdoors.
"Misuse of alcohol and drugs can lead to accident, injury, antisocial and embarrassing behavior, and even violence.
"Photos of young people who are drunk, disorderly, sick from excess alcohol, aggressive or violent can be sent to thousands of people, including family, in an instant via social media.
"Aggressive or impulsive acts can harm the aggressor and others, and have effects that go well beyond Schoolies Week.
"Students should be equally careful and cautious about their sexual health. Young people can feel pressured to have sex. They should know that it's okay to say 'NO'.
"But, overall, the positive messages are getting through - it is encouraging that increasing numbers of schoolies are choosing not to drink or take drugs and are still having a good time.
"The most important thing is for young people to look after themselves and look after their mates," Dr Hambleton said.