Downwards trend in risky behaviour provides reassurance for Schoolies Week

From 24 November 2023, around 8,000 school leavers are expected to arrive in Byron Bay to celebrate the end of high school.

New research from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reveals that alcohol consumption among young Australians has been trending downwards. As School Leavers around the country are packing their bags for the week of a lifetime, caregivers can be rest assured that their teens will, most likely, be making more responsible decisions.

The following data capturing Australian teen and young adult perceptions, between 2022 to 2023, shows positive results regarding youth alcohol consumption. Key findings show that:

Approximately 30% of teenagers (14 – 17 years) report drinking alcohol;

About 60% of young adults (18 – 24 years) report drinking alcohol; and,

There is a 15% decrease in 14 – 24 year olds participating in binge drinking.

Overall, these figures are a positive sign with notable decreases compared to previous years.

Red Frogs Australia CEO, Andy Gourley, attests to these figures stating that there has been a noticeable behaviour shift across all Schoolies locations since commencing the Red Frogs Schoolies response in 1997.

“We have seen a noticeable shift in Schoolies behaviour while on the ground over the past 26 years. Young people are choosing to drink less and there is a stronger culture of looking out for your mates.”

“There are still some hectic situations that can occur but there are many services that go above and beyond to support School Leavers. Red Frogs Australia has 1296 volunteers at 13 Schoolies locations around the country providing direct support to teens – whether that be helping to cook dinner or being a shoulder to cry on.”

One of the Red Frog volunteer shares their experience of 10 years on the Gold Coast stating “I think the most important thing to tell your teen is to never leave your mate behind – there’s safety in numbers. If a situation does arise, be sure to call the Red Frogs hotline on 1300 557 123. We are here to provide 24/7 support to School Leavers for a variety of needs, and we have critical processes in place to manage situations as they occur.”

“Volunteering for Red Frogs has been such a fulfilling part of my life. Being able to help these teens navigate a new chapter, and make positive decisions will always bring a smile to my face. We can’t wait to support the 2023 Graduates in their celebrations!”

Red Frogs Australia is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing a positive and safe environment for young people during Schoolies celebrations and other high-risk events. With a passionate team of volunteers, Red Frogs offers support, care and education programs to ensure the well-being of students as they transition into a new phase of their lives.