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New Novel Highlights Issues Of Alcohol Harm And Addiction In Young People Amidst Alcohol Awareness Month

Although recent research suggests there is an overall downward trend in young people’s consumption of alcohol, hazardous drinking statistics appear to suggest this type of drinking has become more common. The latest New Zealand Health Survey shows 50.9% of 15-17 year-olds reported drinking in the last year. Current stats from the survey also show that 6.3% of 15 to 17-year-olds self-report as hazardous drinkers. This is an increase from 5.9% in 2021/22. (By gender, 5% of adolescent boys and 7.5% of adolescent girls aged 15 to 17 were classified as hazardous drinkers in 2022/23.)

Alcohol Awareness Month starts on April 1. Alcohol is having a devastating impact on many of our young people, with alcohol brands normalising and encouraging regular social drinking, sometimes to the extremes (for example, the drinking culture at the University of Otago).

Madeleine Redding knows this situation all too well. She has penned a book called ''Hold my hand, Rosie. Don't let go.'' where she shares the courageous journey of her daughter’s decade-long battle against alcohol addiction, which started when she was a young teenager. The story unfolds through the lens of Madeleine, Rosie’s mother, providing a unique perspective on the challenges families face when confronted with the disease of alcoholism. Rosie’s valuable insight into her addiction is infused through the book. Mother and daughter stories of this nature are uncommon. It is about parents fighting for their child, showing other families in a similar predicament how important it is never to give up hope, even in the darkest of times.

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The book ($34.95) is available for purchase from bookstores nationwide from Friday, 22 March.

‘’Hold My Hand Rosie. Don’t Let Go.’’ is not just a book; it is a lifeline for families grappling with the complexities of living with an addict. The Redding family’s commitment to each other serves as a beacon of hope, reminding readers that, even in the darkest times, love and resilience can lead the way to recovery.

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