With students in Cork and across the country receiving Leaving Certificate results today, Drinkaware is urging parents to discuss alcohol consumption with students who may have plans to celebrate or commiserate the occasion with alcohol in the coming days.
The call comes as Drinkaware’s Alcohol & Covid-19 Barometer found that 82 per cent of 18-24-year-olds report drinking for social reasons including celebrating, while 62 per cent of people under the age of 25 report drinking to cope with feelings of stress or anxiety.
For the class of 2020, the unprecedented stress and uncertainty that came with the school year may contribute to utilising alcohol as a coping mechanism and parents are being urged to encourage healthy ways of managing these emotions.
“This is a year like no other and the Leaving Cert Class of 2020 is facing unprecedented stress, anxiety and uncertainty. Especially at this time and regarding the results, we advise parents to talk openly about how their young adults cope with the intense feelings of stress, or celebration, or peer pressure – all of which can be prevalent at this milestone in their lives," said Sheena Horgan, CEO of Drinkaware.
“And because we know alcohol is often used as a coping strategy, it is important that parents discuss how they can manage these feelings in a healthy way and without alcohol,” she said.
The study also found that one in four people under the age of 25 are drinking more since the outbreak of Covid-19.
However, the results also acknowledge that this year’s Leaving Certificate students are of a generation that are more ‘sober-curious’ and health-conscious.