Planet Youth is an international evidence-based primary prevention model that has been developed in order to reduce substance use rates amongst adolescents.
There is no evidence to support the view that parental supply of alcohol protects our children from adverse drinking outcomes.
The evidence is clear that the best thing we can do as responsible parents and adults is to delay and defer any alcohol use for as long as possible.
The Limestone Coast survey was conducted in late 2019 and 2021 across four secondary schools with key findings available below.
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation are working with the Planet Youth Team to trial an Australian version of the program with SMLC, supported by the City of Mount Gambier and the District Council of Grant. The Planet Youth trial is funded under the Australian Government’s National Ice Action Strategy and managed by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation.
In the 1990s, Iceland ranked comparatively highly across Europe for adolescent alcohol, tobacco, and other harmful drug use. In response, a group of policy makers, community leaders, and social scientists came together to explore new ideas for initiating a different, bottom-up collaborative approach to drug and alcohol use prevention that has since become known as the Icelandic Prevention Model (Planet Youth). Over the last 30 years Iceland has seen large reductions in substance use in their young people and the program has now been adopted in 20 countries.
Planet Youth is now an international evidence-based primary prevention model that works by directly targeting the risk and protective factors in young people’s lives that determine their substance use behaviours and enhancing the social environment they are growing up in.
By reducing the known risk factors and strengthening the known protective factors the problems associated with adolescent substance use can be reduced or stopped before they arise. The Planet Youth model offers the opportunity to improve the long-term health and life outcomes for young people and goes far beyond simply reducing their substance use rates.
The model is underpinned by data derived from the administration of the Planet Youth questionnaire. This comprehensive lifestyle questionnaire is administered to 15-16 year-old students in their school setting and examines a great many aspects of their lives. Questions include substance use, health, mental health, physical activity, family and school experience, internet use and bullying.
The data returned from the survey is used to inform the development of suitable interventions in the community that will help address the known risk and protective for young people and thus improve outcomes.
The sign that brought you here is direct action from statistics from our last two Limestone Coast Planet Youth surveys, which show that up to 56 per cent of Year 10s who played club or team sport had been drunk in the last 30 days and are drinking alcohol at home and at the homes of others.
The data shows young people are not drinking at sporting clubs but they are drinking in private homes. This shows there is a high permissive culture by parents and significant adults in allowing the supply of alcohol to young people.
There is a common misconception that allowing your child to drink alcohol at home is a safe way to introduce children to alcohol, and, to monitor it. However, there is no safe level of alcohol for a person under the age of 18.
Alcohol is a depressant drug which slows down the messages travelling between the brain and the body.
Drinking any form of alcohol, which is a carcinogenic substance, leads to harm and changes in the brain development of a young person and sparks early learning difficulties. Current evidence indicates that many of the regions of the brain undergoing development during adolescence are particularly sensitive to even low amounts of alcohol.
At worst, early access to alcohol also increases the likelihood of having drug or alcohol problem later in life, and contributes to all the leading causes of death for young people; suicide, car crashes, accidental poisoning, and assault.
Some cultures practise allowing small amounts of alcohol over dinner to young people and this is a common misconception this is an acceptable way to introduce alcohol to young people.
However, the Australian drinking culture does not encourage moderation and normalising alcohol use at an early age encourages being part of the Australian drinking culture, including risky and excessive alcohol use and binge drinking.
We’ve put together some handy resources to help parents and other adults navigate teenagers wanting to start drinking or heading out to parties where there may be alcohol.
This health promotion activity is direct action from our most recent school survey.