Kiama campaign welcomes new survey results released today

The Kiama Stop Underage Drinking Project welcomes new findings released from the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey. The survey demonstrates a major step in the right direction – less young people are drinking alcohol.

The age at which Australians are drinking their first alcohol drink is being delayed – from 14.4 years to 15.7 years over the last ten years. Furthermore, the proportion of 12-17 year olds choosing not to drink has increased from 64% to 72% since the last survey three years ago.

Prominent alcohol researcher Professor Sandra Jones says that this is a perfect opportunity for more people to get behind community efforts to de-normalise the excessive consumption of alcohol.

“These statistics are a fantastic demonstration of the success of a wide range of government and community led prevention and education programs. We need to support each other in our decisions not to drink if we are under 18, or not to supply alcohol to minors if we are of legal purchasing age. Thinking about the role of alcohol in our lives can, and has, brought about some really healthy changes”.

The survey also revealed the lowest levels of daily drinking in the general community, in both males and females, since 1991, declining from 7.2% in 2010 to 6.5% in 2013. During the same period, there was also an increase in the proportion of people who had never consumed a full serve of alcohol, from 12.1% to 13.8%.

These figures are a great support for the Kiama Stop Underage Drinking Project whose ambitious approach is to change the perceived social norm of drinking by reflecting back to the community the reality.

“Unfortunately, many people will still find these new statistics hard to believe. Teens still think that most of their friends are drinking and that they have to drink to fit in. We know that young people and even adults are strongly influenced by what they think others think”, said Professor Jones.

The Kiama Stop Underage Drinking Project will continue to work hard to let community members know that by choosing not to drink, or supply alcohol, they are in a well-supported majority of people.

For more key findings from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey, go to

For more information about the Kiama Stop Underage Drinking Project, go to


Times are a Changing

Over the past few months Warwick Drew and myself, from the First Step Program, have delivered over forty sessions of a ten minute update/ snapshot on:

  • drug and alcohol issues
  • current drug trends
  • a street perspective
  • Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Drug & Alcohol related services
  • Blood borne virus awareness

The topics have been that interesting and due to a barrage of questions, all talks have gone over ten minutes and have proven to be extremely popular with services and organisations.

So…if your team want an update on the above issues in a fun and relaxed atmosphere, contact me on 0411 408 719 or 42751529 or …….. you ring, we bring.

We have mastered the art of condensing this information to meet the demanding needs of services within the local area. Well, almost mastered.

Our view is…. Learning + Fun + relevant information = understanding.

Michael Fernandez | Service Manager | First Step program

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District | Port Kembla Hospital Fairfax Road Warrawong

Tel: (02) 4275 1529 | Mob: : 0411 408 726 | Email: