Showing posts from August, 2018

What about a 17th birthday? How can parents make that event 'attractive' to teens and keep it alcohol-free?

Over the years, as secondary supply laws have been gradually introduced across the country, I've been asked by many parents how best to deal with hosting an 18th birthday and the alcohol issue. Secondary supply is when alcohol is provided to a person aged under 18 years. The issue facing parents hosting 18ths is that they could be breaking the law if a juvenile is found to be drinking on their property and they are believed to have supplied that alcohol. The big problem with an 18th celebration is that unlike any other birthday, there are likely to be just as many underage guests as there are adults and because it is an 18th it is far more likely that alcohol will be made available. Earlier this year I put together a blog entry on the topic and suggested some ways that parents could deal with this issue based on the experiences of parents I have met. This week I received a call from Jolene, a mum who asked for my advice about a 17th birthday. The conversation went something li

"Should I buy a breathalyser to check-up on my teen?" What impact can this strategy have on 'trust' in the parent-child relationship?

As part of my presentation to Year 12 students I cover the issue of drink driving, including the process of random breath testing (RBT) and how long a young driver should wait to get behind the wheel after drinking. As a result, I often get asked by students whether I think they should buy a breathalyser to check whether they're over the limit, just in case! As I always say, as far as young drivers are concerned, if you even have the slightest doubt and think you should test yourself - don't drive - it's just not worth the risk! Remember this is not perfect technology (particularly some of the devices available on-line) and because a P-plater has to have a BAC of 0.00, well, just a little bit of inaccuracy could change their life. No young driver wants a drink driving record ... But what about parents using these devices to check-up on their teen? Could they be useful in that way? Earlier this week I received a message from Steve, a father wanting to know my opinion on

Drug detection dogs: Would you want your innocent teen to be put through the process?

Official police figures were recently released that found drug detection dogs were wrong in almost two-thirds of all strip-searches conducted in NSW last year. Of the 1124 people strip-searched because of a so-called 'dog indication' in 2017, drugs were found just 406 times. This means that the dogs were wrong 64 per cent of the time! SA Police figures were also released earlier in the month finding drugs were found just 15 per cent of the time after indications from sniffer dogs or electronic tests, i.e., of the 2366 searches conducted, only 348 people actually had drugs on them. The dogs were wrong 85 per cent of the time in that state! Let's start by making a few things clear - illicit drugs are just that - illegal. If you make the decision to use cannabis, ecstasy/MDMA or whatever, one of the greatest risks you face is that you could be caught and, as a result, face consequences that could change your life forever. This blog entry does not deal whether particular dru