The Police Commissioner of Western Australia has labelled parents who provide alcohol to their underage kids as being like drug dealers.
Karl O’Callaghan, the WA Police Commissioner said at a school in Perth that parents who supply alcohol to minors are like drug dealers, the controversial statement was made while launching “Ocsober”. Now more than ever parents need to openly discuss alcohol and related issues with their children because alcohol harm associated with young people is higher than its even been. In fact alcohol has been named as the leading cause of teenage deaths in Australia.
Ocsober is a fundraising initiative which is aimed at tackling youth drinking issues by encouraging young people to abstain from alcohol for the month of October, hopefully addressing these problematic issues and saving lives.
The Commissioner made the statement while speaking to year 6 students at the Ocsober launch. The Commissioner also reiterated that alcohol continues to be the most abused drug in Western Australia.
According to an article on Abc.net.au he went on to explain:
“If alcohol is a drug, then let me tell you that your parents are the primary dealers of that drug because we know from research that most teenagers in Western
Australia get their alcohol from their parents,” he said.
“Their parents give it to them without knowing the impact it has on their brains and without knowing the impact it has on their bodies.
“And, if we want to make a difference to binge drinking, we have to start with educating kids and parents.”
Donations for Ocsober will go towards continuing Life Education’s alcohol and drug awareness programs which run throughout WA’s primary schools.
Mr O’Callaghan has also renewed his call on federal authorities to ban alcohol advertising during televised sports broadcasts because of the number of children that are exposed to it during these times.
The post went on to quote O’Callaghan:
“All of these kids are able to watch the footy final [this weekend] and all of these kids will be able to watch alcohol advertising during live sport because alcohol advertising is permitted during live sport in Australia,” he said.
“If you’re going to change the culture, you’ve got to change the messages you send to our kids, and when I asked how many of these kids were going to watch the football on the weekend, all of them without exception put their hands up.”
“I don’t think we’ve got any hope of changing the culture with these young people, unless we’re prepared to limit their exposure to messages about alcohol.”
With all the attention and effort being put into this Ocsober initiative and others trying to educate teens about drinking it is important that RSA do not undo all the good work done.
Anyone serving alcohol needs to ensure that they never serve alcohol to an underage person. The best way of ensuring this is asking everyone for an ID if they look young (under 23) and ensure that if they cannot prove their age, you refuse them alcohol.