The Irish Bishops' Drugs and Alcohol Initiative (IBDI) is calling on parents to assist their children to find new and healthy ways to celebrate their Junior Certificate results this week as an alternative to drinking alcohol.
John Taaffe, Coordinator of the IBDI, said: "The publication of Junior Certificate results this week marks a significant milestone in the lives of many young people who have completed many years of hard work.
Teachers, parents and extended families deserve great credit for their support and guidance to young people over this period and they can rightly share in their success.
"The results also provide an opportune time for parents to educate their young people on alcohol and how easily it can adversely affect their lives. Stories and images of alcohol excess, which mar the annual publication of the results, can be prevented if a responsible attitude toward the dangers of alcohol has already been instilled in our young people.
"Parents are the first educators of their children. Celebrations of milestones in the lives of children are special and memorable events but they need not always involve alcohol. To parents who feel powerless when it comes to their children's attitude and relationship with alcohol I strongly urge them to avail of existing resources and supports aimed at young people which encourage a healthy attitude towards their own wellbeing and which highlight the effect of alcohol and other drugs.
"We know that peer pressure has a huge impact on the decisions made by young people concerning drugs and alcohol. However young people are as influenced by what their parents do and say in relation to alcohol as they are by their peers. It is vitally important for parents to discuss the issue of alcohol with their children and to offer them
Ms Patricia Conway, Chairperson of the Initiative concluded: "As we congratulate the Junior Certificate class of 2010, I ask parents to talk to their young people about alcohol, related peer pressure and alternative ways to celebrate this important success in your child's
For more information see www.catholicbishops.ie or www.yourdrinking.ie