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
with other States to follow in coming weeks.
In 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
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
"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
"Celebrating the end of school and beginning a new stage of
life should be about positive experiences and good memories, not accidents or
"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.