Showing posts from February, 2017

What is GHB and why does it lead to so many overdoses? Sorting fact from fiction

Last weekend 22 people were hospitalized after overdosing at a dance event in Melbourne. According to a spokesperson for Ambulance Victoria, paramedics transported more than 30 people from a number of events across the city in that one evening, stating that it was it was "highest number of overdoses" they had seen "for some time". So what was the drug that caused all this chaos and is it a drug that parents should be overly concerned about? The drug was believed to be GHB or g amma-hydroxybutyrate.  This is certainly not a new drug and has been causing significant problems on the Australian dance/nightclub scene for over 20 years. The media rarely deals with drug stories particularly well, but this one they keep getting wrong and, as a result, there is a great deal of misinformation out there about the substance, what it is, how it is used and its harms. Some of the statements made in the media last weekend included the following: GHB is a new drug the ove

The 'evil princess' or 'mean girl' group and their impact on other girls and their drinking behaviour

I've raised this issue before in a previous blog entry but recently I spoke to a Year 10 girl who almost broke my heart, as a result, I thought it was timely to talk about it one more time. After my presentation, a wonderful young woman (let's call her Clare) approached me to tell me that she wasn't one of the 'cool' girls, she wasn't being invited to parties and she didn't think she ever would be. She didn't drink alcohol and had heard me say that I didn't - she wanted to know if I thought she would ever be accepted by those girls who did. Clare wanted to know if I had been invited to parties when I was a teen and did it ever get any better? As I said, heartbreaking ... Most of us remember that 'popular' group of girls at school that often made other girls' lives an absolute misery! This group usually regarded themselves as the prettiest, the smartest and the 'coolest', but in reality all they were were the meanest! With those

Sleepovers, parties and gatherings: What should parents expect when it comes to 'adult supervision' of these events?

I've written many times about the importance of finding out as much as you can about an event your teen is invited to before you make a decision as to whether they can attend or not. To do that, you need to collect a range of information about what will be happening when your child gets there. One of the key questions that every parent needs to ask is around 'adult supervision'. Whether your child is going to their first sleepover, a small gathering on a Friday night at a friend's house or a 16th birthday extravaganza, it's important to find out whether adults will be there and what level of supervision will be taking place. What amazes me is that all parents expect their child's school to provide high quality adult supervision at all times - if this wasn't happening they would be up there pretty quickly to express their concern and demand that something be done. But when it comes to a Saturday night, this expectation of appropriate adult supervision oft