With Schoolies underway over the next few weeks, a Griffith University study shows that school-leavers are increasingly aware of the potential dangers of binge drinking thanks to a program known as Game On: Know Your Alcohol.
The program, which is delivered in schools, helps to educate teenagers about the effects of alcohol. Students' attitudes towards excessive alcohol consumption were less favourable after their participation in the programs, and their intentions to drink alcohol were also lowered after taking part.
The study of more than 2,200 Year 10 students showed that while one-third of Year 10 students have had at least one full alcoholic drink in their lifetime, the majority (66%) do not drink alcohol at all.
"As a mother of three, I want my children to be safe when they go out," said Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele, Director of Social Marketing at Griffith University.
"The study shows that time spent in schools talking about alcohol is crucial to encouraging a more responsible approach when it comes to drinking.
"It is important that teenagers know they don't have to drink to excess, if at all, to have a good time."
Professor Rundle-Thiele said this is an increasingly important message around times such as Schoolies.
PhD candidate, Timo Dietrich, said that although binge drinking grabs the headlines, most drinking still happens in the home.
"Our research shows that parent drinking rates impact on adolescent drinking behaviour. The more you drink as a parent, the more likely your child is to drink at higher levels," he said.
The study found that 5% of Year 10 students reported binge drinking at least once a month and 2% at least weekly. Students who are more likely to take part in binge drinking report that their fathers tend to drink higher-than-average quantities of alcohol.