Case for Change

Just like adults, young people also get worried about their drinking. Especially if they drink heavily or experience harms from their drinking.

Few adolescents seek help, especially from health services. Many young people turn to their friends for help.

High schools and youth health services are important places for young people to access care and help with their drinking.

Supportive families are also important.

In 2012, almost one in five (18.2%) New Zealand high school drinkers reported being worried about their drinking, and 13.2% had tried to cut down or give up their drinking at some point in their life.

Despite this level of worry, very few adolescents seek help. Many young people prefer to seek help from their friends, rather than from more formal healthcare sources.

To address this, it is important that services are tailored to meet the diverse needs of the adolescent population in New Zealand. High schools in New Zealand which have a trained youth health physician have shown lower levels of binge drinking when compared to those without. Efforts are currently underway to provide innovative approaches to increase access to alcohol and drug treatment in New Zealand.