Rabbitte warns of drugs and underage drinking at Junior Cert celebrations

galway daily news Nineteen Galway secondary schools taking part in underage drinking study

Parents need to do more to warn kids against drinking alcohol and taking drugs at Junior Cert celebrations Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte has said.

Almost 60,000 young people around the country received their Junior Cert results on Friday, with young people celebrating over the weekend.

“A lot of teens, in fairness, just want to celebrate with their friends, and do so in an alcohol and drug-free way, which is great,” Anne Rabbitte said.

She added that “Parents, and indeed society more broadly, need to be very mindful of teens drinking alcohol though.”

“Hopefully, parents can talk to their children and let them know that drinking at any discos or such events is illegal.”

The Fianna Fáil TD said that an international survey showed that Irish teens aged 15 and 16 are among the highest users of cannabis and cocaine in the EU.

Almost one in five young people had tried cannabis, three percent had tried cocaine by the time they were 16, and 2 percent of individuals had taken ecstasy.

Rabbitte, who is the Fianna Fáil spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs, said that HSE figures show that 933 children were treated for alcohol and drug related conditions last year.

“As a society, we need to address the country’s attitude towards alcohol. We allow underage drinking because we see it as harmless, and something that’s inevitable.”

“There needs to be a mind shift on this as it sets in train some potentially negative consequences for these young people’s futures,” concluded Deputy Rabbitte.