Interesting trends emerging from schoolies week

Seems the safe sex message is starting to get through to school leavers, with schoolies week continuing in Surfers for graduates from New South Wales and Victoria.

Traditionally health organisations say they see a spike in unexpected pregnancies at this time of the year.

Drug Arm volunteers hit the streets every year and ask Queensland teenagers some key questions.  They include whether or not they are having protected sex, if teenagers are “getting into the car if someone has been drinking or if they have been intoxicated themselves or if they’ve tried drugs”.


Alex Davis said most admit to drinking, but it would appear not as many admitted to using drugs.

In terms of being safe during intimate relations, she said this year it would appear that “a lot of the people are getting the message, they are practicing safe techniques and I know that there’s a lot of other volunteer organisations trying to spread that message and even going as far as to hand out free condoms”.

But she said the number still not taking precautions is high.

She said they tend to survey school leavers towards the end of the night, “when everyone’s waiting to catch up with their friends that we really get a good go of it”.

Similar to the Red Frogs offering sweets as an ice breaker, Drug Arm volunteers give graduates a free lollipop if they agree to answer a few questions “some people aren’t willing to take it but we do get a pretty good response though”.

Drug Arm does not just target school leavers but will also quiz so-called “toolies” if they are hanging around with younger revellers.

Ms Davis said if they run into people heading towards or away from the beach hub “we’ll stop them, give them a couple of pages of survey and they’ll fill it in themselves and we see up to 10 per cent of participants of the survey tend to be toolies”.

Something new for Drug Arm this year is that they used crowd funding to cover some of the costs of paying for accommodation on the Gold Coast for volunteers.

They have previously struggled to get volunteers along to do their surveys, but this year managed to raise almost half of their $5000 target.

Drug Arm also got a grant to analyse survey results from 2012, 13 and 14.