WITH young people in Mid Ulster and South Tyrone due to receive their exam results, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is urging parents to talk to their children about the risks associated with drinking and taking drugs.
Exam results are a huge milestone for young people and many will go out socialising with friends after they receive their results.
Owen O’Neill, the PHA’s Regional Lead on Alcohol and Drugs, said that parents’ attitudes and behaviours in relation to alcohol and drugs have a strong influence on their children:
“Many teenagers will go out with friends when they get exam results, whether they are celebrating or commiserating. Both scenarios can lead to excessive drinking or drug taking, so there’s an important role for parents to talk to their children about the risks.
“Parents can make the first move and talk frankly about the dangers of binge drinking and encourage their children to have fun with friends without alcohol.
“If your child is of the legal drinking age, you can encourage them to take care if they choose to drink.
“Even if your child is old enough to drink, staying within the safe drinking limits is important, as excessive drinking can have lasting effects on health, such as damage to the liver, heart, brain and stomach,” he added.