Alcohol Action Ireland is encouraging parents to talk to their children about the risks associated with alcohol ahead of their Leaving Certificate results on Wednesday.
“It’s natural that young people receiving their Leaving Cert results want to go out and celebrate with their friends. This is an important milestone for them and they should enjoy the celebrations,” said Suzanne Costello, CEO of Alcohol Action Ireland.
“Getting the Leaving Cert results can be an emotional and, for some, stressful time, particularly for those who may not have done quite as well as they had hoped. If you add alcohol into the mix this can make an already challenging situation even more difficult for young people and put their health and safety at risk, particularly if they drink to levels they haven’t done before,” said Ms Costello.
Alcohol Action Ireland is urging parents to play their part in ensuring their children stay safe and well by talking to them about their plans ahead of the release of the Leaving Cert results.
“Parents must recognise that their child may end up in situations in which they may feel unwell, uncomfortable, or scared as a result of either their own or other people’s drinking. We are urging parents to talk openly with their children about what their plans are for the evening and make sure they know all the important details, such as what they will be doing, who they will be with where they are going and how – and at what times – they plan on getting there and coming home,” said Ms Costello.
“It is also important to let your child know they can call home without fear of recrimination if they feel unsafe or unwell at any point. They need to know that, as parents, while you may not be happy with the fact they may have been drinking, or how much they drank, their safety is your priority and that they are to contact you immediately if they are in trouble.
Alcohol Action Ireland said that, ahead of the celebrations on Wednesday, there is also a real and immediate obligation on alcohol retailers – such as pubs, nightclubs, convenience stores, supermarkets and off-licenses – to ensure that they are not selling alcohol to minors and not targeting young people with cheap drinks promotions that encourage binge drinking.