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Report says binge drinking a massive problem -

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TONY JONES: The Federal Government has been warned that Australia's binge drinking culture is
tearing families apart and ruining young lives. The National Council on Drugs says every week up to
2,000 high school students are drinking at a harmful level. It's calling for a massive injection of
funds to treat the problem of teenage alcohol abuse. Michael Turtle reports.

MICHAEL TURTLE: Out of control teenage parties overflowing with alcohol have been hitting the
headlines. But until now, the extent of underage drinking hasn't been realised.

JOHN HERRON, NATIONAL COUNCIL ON DRUGS: Just think of the number of road accidents that occur,
think of the rage fights that occur after Schoolies Week and that sort of thing. It's all there
before our very eyes.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: As a parent and someone who's observed what's gone on in the general
community over the past decade, frankly I think it's out of control.

MICHAEL TURTLE: The Australian National Council on Drugs has found every week 1 in 10 high school
students engages in binge drinking. For 16 and 17 year olds the figure is closer to 1 in 5. Some
experts are blaming it on the parents' use of alcohol.

PROF. MARGARET HAMILTON, MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY: But it's at every celebratory event we go to, at
sports, music events, it's everywhere. It's in school celebrations. No wonder young people use

MICHAEL TURTLE: The Ted Noffs Foundation in Sydney treats young people with drug and alcohol
problems and workers here are concerned about how big an issue it's becoming.

WESLEY NOFFS, TED NOFFS FOUNDATION: Young people by and large are poly drug users. Alcohol is
present in just about every case that we deal with.

MICHAEL TURTLE: The report has also found that 240,000 high school students used cannabis in the
last year and 70,000 used amphetamines. But families are struggling to get the help they need.

TONY TRIMINGHAM, FAMILY DRUG SUPPORT: I did ring a couple of telephone services got fobbed off. One
of them told me to go to the local library and look up information. Another told me that everyone
was at lunch and there was nobody to talk to me.

MICHAEL TURTLE: The report has called for hundreds of millions of dollars to be put into support
services for the families of drug users.

Michael Turtle, Lateline.