A new Mission Australia report reveals that three in 10 young people say that alcohol and/or drugs are a problem for their family and peers, and that they have fears for their future.
28,286 young people (15-19) took part in the online survey and… look, it’s not cheerful reading.
According to the report Close To Home: young people and the impact of alcohol and drug use by family and peers, “These young people are more negative about their future, have greater personal concerns including around mental health and have poorer family relationships than young people who aren’t worried about this issue.”
There’s a question here about causation and correlation – are drugs and alcohol making young people feel worse, or are people that feel bad turning to drugs and alcohol? – but in any case, it’s a (cough) sobering statistic.
Even more concerning was the finding that the drug and alcohol use of parents and other people around them has a significant negative impact on young folks, and that this has long-lasting consequences.
While young people across the board indicated concerns with school, family relationships, stress and mental health/suicide, all o f those proportions significantly jumped when familial alcohol and drug use was also in the mix.
CEO James Toomey puts it bluntly: “The impacts of growing up in this environment not only affects their ‘here and now’ experience of their world, but also their futures. Young people need the support of family and friends to stay engaged with education and transition into employment. Supporting young people into their future often means engaging their family and peers too.”
You can read the report here, but the intent of this research into drugs and alcohol is to make looking after our young people – and Australia’s future – a priority.
As Toomey says, “This report confirms the importance of approaching this issue from all angles, with evidence-based solutions to better support these young people, their families and peers.”