Tuesday, 26 Jan 2016

Young people see alcohol and drugs as a key issue in Australia

Young people are full of dreams for their future. By placing preventive education at the core of our work, we at Life Education want to ensure they will achieve them.

How confident are young Australians about achieving their work or study goals and what barriers to success do they see? To answer these questions, Mission Australia once again conducted a survey among 18,994 young respondents aged 15-19 from across the country.

This survey provides us with a good insight into the teenager’s world. It reinforced for us the importance of ensuring our children and young people feel empowered and supported to negotiate the issues they will face in the future.

The survey shows that young people are acutely aware of their environment and most of them have quite a positive mindset. But this is not the case for all of them and 52% of the respondents felt that barriers were present that may impact on the achievements of their goals. Sadly, around 10% weren’t confident in their ability to achieve their study/work goals after school.

Alcohol and drugs

When these young people were asked about the key issues facing Australia today, for the first time in recent years the number one response was alcohol and drugs. Around 25% of the respondents identified this issue as important, highlighting the need to guarantee that young people are sufficiently informed.

To empower and educate children about this topic, Life Education offers schools a number of modules for upper primary and secondary school students around the effects and dangers of alcohol and other drugs.

Life Education also recommends parents have an open talk about alcohol and other drugs with their child at an appropriate age and time and to be a positive role model in regards to alcohol consumption. Together we strive to help children make informed and responsible choices if faced with decisions about alcohol and other drugs later in life.


Among the top issues of personal concern for young people, coping with stress was number one, with 38.4% of the respondents rating themselves as extremely concerned or very concerned. Around 20% of respondents also worry significantly about depression, reflecting the need to ensure our children develop the knowledge and skills to manage their mental health and wellbeing.

At Life Education, we believe in the benefits of empowering children from a young age. The Life Education program provides students with the tools to build self-confidence, resilience, problem solving skills and strategies to manage emotions. We also encourage parents to tell their children that adults can feel anxious too and offer them some strategies to alleviate their stress.

Life Education is committed to the role its program plays in helping lay the foundation for children to successfully navigate their way through their transition to young adults. By equipping children from preschool, primary school, through to secondary school with decision-making skills and educating them about the risks related to alcohol and drugs, we limit future issues and allow the children to live to their full potential.

Source: download the full survey.