$50 million for Binge Drinking Strategy

YOUNG people, booze and drugs - it's a volatile mix that has the experts worried.

The problem is so worrying that the Federal Government has committed $50 million to continue its six-year National Binge Drinking Strategy.

The project's primary focus is lowering binge drinking among young people using partnerships among councils, police sporting groups and welfare organisations.

University of Southern Queensland senior psychology lecturer Andrea Quinn said young men were the primary offenders.

"We're mostly talk about young people - young males are going to dominate here," Dr Quinn said.

"Developmentally their brains are not going to be fully developed until their mid 20s.

"You're seeing during that period of growth, they're all under developmental pressure for them to be engaging in high-risk behaviours.

"You add alcohol and the disinhibiting factors of that and you've got a cocktail that's just waiting for cracks to happen."

Queensland Homicide Victims' Support Group general manager Ross Thompson said he was worried about the actions of teenagers.

"The major issue we see is the kids," he said.

"It's the 14- to 19-year-olds who are mainly responsible for violence - it's something like 67% responsible for all violence.

"It's unfortunate that these older ones you can't get through to them. It's frustrating." 

FACT BOX

- Almost one in eight deaths of people aged under 25 is due to alcohol

- 60% of all police attendances (including 90% of late-night calls) involve alcohol

- One in five hospitalisations of people under 25 are due to alcohol

- 20% of Australians drink at levels putting them at risk of lifetime harm

- Almost two thirds of 18- to 29-year-olds drink specifically to get drunk.

Source: Australian National Council on Drug

- APN NEWSDESK



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