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Free shots and Jägerbombs: Parents told to warn Leaving Cert students of 'pervasive' drinks promos

A HSE expert says drinks promotions can encourage students to drink a lot in a short space of time and lead them into dangerous situations.

Image: Shutterstock/Igor Normann

THE HSE HAS advised parents that their children need to be warned of the health dangers of drinks promotions ahead of Leaving Cert night.

The night after the Leaving Cert results have been announced has resulted in a high number of alcohol-related violent incidents and hospitalisations in the past.

Events pages for Leaving Cert results night this Wednesday encourage students to “celebrate your results or drown your sorrows” with promotions like €3 drinks.

These include Vodka Boats, “a free shot of choice”, “a glass of bubbly on arrival”, “a free bottle of champagne with tickets” and “five free drinks tokens”.

While many Leaving Cert students are over 18 and allowed to drink alcohol, the HSE warns that the promotions could encourage students to drink a lot of alcohol within a short space of time and leave them vulnerable to taking risks.

Dr Eamon Keenan, the HSE’s National Clinical Lead of Addiction Service says that drinks promotions ”can cause rapid intoxication resulting in young people feeling disinhibited and leading to changes in their behaviour and taking risks they wouldn’t normally consider.

These include drug taking, unprotected sex, possible aggression and getting into fights.
They may also experience lowering of mood and, in some cases, depression or anxiety can be worsened.

He urged parents to talk to their children now, as advertising for Leaving Cert celebrations in clubs and bars have already begun.

“While we live in a country where alcohol promotion is pervasive,” the HSE said, “parents need to know that they are the most important influence in informing young people about the risks associated with drinking and substance use”.

If you need a bit of help with how to go about it, AskAboutAlcohol.ie has advice for parents: “10 Tips for Parents” and “Tips for Talking to a Teen”.

Read: Less than 5% of Irish people know what their weekly alcohol limit is

Read: ‘They’ve more money in their pockets’: Alarming rise in young people admitting to drink driving

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