Most parents know relatively little about alcohol and other drugs. They might have a bit of practical experience – usually in the form of vague memories from their teens or early twenties – but when it really comes down to it, most of the information they have has been obtained either through their friends of the media.

As I always say to young people, these are not the best sources of information. Friends don’t mean to steer you in the wrong direction, but the sharing of information is going to subtly distort that information over time. You also need to remember that every one has their own views on controversial issues such as drugs, and this can mean that when information is passed on, so too are the viewpoints, and this might affect the reliability of the information.

The media is no better. I have been working with the Australian media for over fifteen years now and I have seen first hand just how inaccurate many of the reports beamed into your home or presented in your daily newspaper are. Some media outlets have agendas, and in recent times we have seen some newspapers and television programs actually decide to take a stand on a particular issue oar cause and attempt to change community viewpoints. It is important to remember that ‘news’ is often presented in a manner calculated to persuade you to think in a particular way.

Excerpt from “Teenagers, Alcohol and Drugs” by Paul Dillon.
Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.