Educating Gold Coast teens on binge drinking

A GOLD Coast high school is among the first of 20 Queensland schools to use new Griffith University research to change teenagers attitudes towards alcohol.

Around 200 Marymount College students will take part in Griffith University’s new Game On: Know Alcohol program on Friday.

The program followers a pilot study involving three Brisbane high schools found students were more inclined to change their attitude towards alcohol after participating in a series of specially-designed online games and practical activities.


The students will play three online games developed purely based on the pilot study findings and also take part in a number of interactive exercises such as wearing beer goggles and reflecting on an emotional experience with alcohol.

The new Griffith University research shows young people are 239 times more likely to see an alcohol advertisement than an advert promoting safe drinking.

“In a world where teenagers are exposed to alcohol related marketing messages each day, we are offering an alternative message that lets teenagers know they have a choice,” said Timo Dietrich, a Department of Marketing PhD Candidate at Griffith University.

The research is supported by a $162,810 Linkage Project grant awarded by the Australian Research Council earlier this year, and by the Queensland Catholic Education Commission, Griffith’s industry partner for the project.

“Our aim is to educate students about the effects of alcohol, give knowledge of standard drinks and provide a range of strategies to minimise alcohol consumption,” confirmed project leader, Associate Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele.

“We are aware that this program is not the silver bullet, but one important step in the pursuit of altering Australia’s drinking culture.

“The drinking behaviors associated with a range of celebrations and school holiday periods throughout the year, are continual reminders of why such a culture change would be welcomed.”