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October 2014

Poster jpeg
The No Excuse Needed campaign’s Snake-eye Stevie.

Campaign to tackle binge drinking in young people

The Victorian Government, together with VicHealth, is set to challenge a pervasive alcohol culture with a $1.9 million campaign that aims to empower young Victorians to make responsible decisions about their drinking.

Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge and VicHealth Chief Executive Officer Jerril Rechter officially launched the Government-funded campaign, which features colourful characters Snake-eye Stevie and Marathon Milly and will appear across the state on billboards, bus and tram stops, cinema, radio and online.

The No Excuse Needed campaign coincides with the release of a snapshot of Victoria’s drinking culture which reveals many young people feel peer-pressure to drink but most do not start a night out intending to get drunk.

A survey of almost 1,400 Victorians aged 16 and over found that the majority (61 per cent) of young people do not drink to get drunk.

Ms Wooldridge said while we know that most young Victorians don’t intend to get drunk, we also know that some are still drinking at harmful levels.

‘Young Victorians need to know that getting drunk isn’t necessarily what others their age are doing and they shouldn’t feel like they have to make excuses if they don’t want to keep drinking.

‘Young people consulted during the campaign’s development labelled it ‘refreshing’ and ‘empowering’ and not typical of traditional campaigns which tend to condemn young people’s behaviour.

‘No Excuse Needed aims to motivate young people to think about why they make up excuses but also question if and why they put pressure on others to drink.

‘By taking this approach, we are seeking to reduce the importance alcohol plays in young Victorians’ lives,’ Ms Wooldridge said.

Ms Rechter said there was no doubt of the need to challenge the harmful culture of drinking which takes a heavy toll on the community and is putting young people at risk.

‘We were surprised to find there is quite a difference between what young people think their peers’ drinking habits are versus what the reality is.

‘The truth is that the majority of young people in Victoria don’t intend to drink too much when they head out for the evening but may feel pressure to go beyond their limits,’ Ms Rechter said.

           Watch the campaign ads at www.noexcuseneeded.com.au.