Experiment, but don?t die in the attempt
By ZOE SATHERLEY
"YOU are teenagers and we will never be able to stop you from experimenting," drug and alcohol expert Paul Dillon told hundreds of Northern Rivers students yesterday.
"But we want to help you reduce the risk of harm from consuming alcohol and drugs."
The students were at Southern Cross University attending the annual RRISK seminar program (Reduce Risk Increase Student Knowledge) for Year 10 and 11 students from 26 local schools.
Paul Dillon, media liaison and information manager for the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at NSW University, was the main speaker for the three-day conference.
He told of a Sydney student who died on a school bus excursion after a whisky sculling contest. His friends sat beside him for two hours, thinking he was just sleeping, while his life slipped away.
The death, like so many others, was preventable, if only the students had known what to do.
He urged teenagers to 'bud- dy up' at parties and not leave those affected by drugs and alcohol to sleep it off. He also said not to let them go to the toilet alone, especially if they were likely to vomit.
Placing people in the 'recovery position', lying on their side with their airway clear, could also save their life.
Above all, call an ambulance if a friend seems in danger.
Paul said about 1700 young people die in Australia each year due to drug and alcoholrelated causes, with 850 deaths related to alcohol, 650 related to illicit drugs (mostly heroin) and 200 related to tobacco.