Parents urged to ask Leaving Certs about “drink” plans

For immediate release

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, has appealed to young people receiving their Leaving Cert results today to take care if they are planning on drinking, to stick together and stay safe.

Alcohol Action Ireland CEO Fiona Ryan also urged parents to be aware of their teenagers’ plans for the evening and to be on their guard for any emergencies.

Ms Ryan said: “It’s a good idea for parents to ask their children – how they’re feeling and what their plans are for the evening. There are 57,000 young people receiving their Leaving Cert results today and for some there will be either significant temptation or pressure to drink tonight, either to celebrate or console. It is also important for both parents and teenagers to know just how alcohol affects them and can severely impair their judgement leading them to make decisions they might otherwise not have made and will deeply regret the morning after.”

“Drinking can impair judgement and leave teenagers vulnerable to a host of dangers. Moreover, their drinking can also have an impact on the people around them. Parents need to be aware if their teenager is planning on drinking, where they are going, who they are going with and how they are getting home.”

Ms Ryan said: “If teenagers decide to drink this evening, we’re asking them to keep the following in mind.

  • If you plan to drink, plan to be safe – where will you go? how will you get home?
  • Watch out for yourself and your friends – don’t leave a friend on their own.
  • If you’re not sure whether a friend needs an ambulance, call an ambulance. Better safe than sorry.
  • Stay in control – you decide whether you’re going to drink or not if you are drinking when you’ve had enough. You can say no to your friends’ offers and still be friends

Remember that alcohol affects your judgment – play it safe.”

Ms Ryan also urged young people not to seek consolation in alcohol if their results were not as they expected: “Whatever results you get, having finished the Leaving Cert is an achievement in and of itself. If you’re upset talk it out. Talk to your friends, to adults whom you like and trust. Ask for help. You can’t drown out problems with drink.”

For parents you can go to: www. – alcohol and you, for parents

For further information or comment contact:

Communications Officer Jo Fox (01) 878 0610 / 087 219 5723