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Alcohol Drug Helpline Launches New Youth Service

Media Release

Alcohol Drug Helpline Launches New Youth Service

The Alcohol Drug Helpline has launched a new youth service offering young people a safe and easily accessible way to talk about their alcohol and other drug use.

The Helpline youth service offers free confidential information, advice and support for anyone with a concern or query about their own or someone else’s alcohol and other drug use.

“Young people have the choice of using a new texting service or contacting the Helpline by phone or on-line chat,” said Paul Rout, CEO of the Alcohol Drug Association New Zealand (ADANZ).

“Txt adh to 234 and we will text you back or, alternatively, call the dedicated youth Helpline number on 0800 787 984,” Mr Rout said. “For the website and online chat go to www.alcoholdrughelp.org.nz.”

Mr Rout said taking a strongly judgemental or directive approach didn’t work with young people.

“It is important that they experience the service as genuinely supportive, trustworthy and one that provides credible accurate information. This forms the basis for making informed, healthy choices about the use of alcohol and other drugs.

“For ADANZ, the strategy is to use youth friendly communication technologies that are attractive to young people. Service users will have the choice of utilising a new texting service or contacting the Helpline by phone or on-line chat. Comprehensive Information is also available on the Helpline website. Experience of other youth services is that young people often prefer to use the relative anonymity of technologies such as texting.”

The Helpline was also there to offer support, information and advice to people concerned about a young person they know whether they are a parent, friend or youth worker.

Over the last year 1,247 young people aged 24 and under contacted the Helpline. Of those 26 percent were Maori, 5 percent Pacific and 4 percent Asian. The primary drug identified by young people was Alcohol (57 percent), Cannabis (23 percent) and Methamphetamine (9 percent). The Helpline aims to at least double the number of young people contacting the service over the next year.

Mr Rout said the Helpline was working closely with other youth services such as Youthline to ensure young people knew about the service.

The Helpline had invested considerably in ensuring Helpline counsellors were trained to work effectively with young people and in the use of new technologies.

Alcohol Drug Helpline Youth Service: 0800 787 984. 10am to 10pm everyday

To text: Txt adh to 234 and we will text you back

Website and online chat: www.alcoholdrughelp.org.nz

ends

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