Teenagers help create repsonsible drinking website

The Drinkaware Trust has launched a website designed by teenagers to educate their peers about the dangers of drinking.

Truthaboutbooze.com aims to provide information and facts on the effects of drinking alcohol in a style similar to popular social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

The design and content of the site is based on feedback from under-18s, who also had the opportunity to vote for the name truthaboutbooze.com in an online poll.

Drinkaware’s chief executive Jean Collingwood said it was the first time that teenagers have been directly asked about what would help them and their friends “make better informed choices” about drinking.

Collingwood said: “We are truly determined to make a difference. The best way to reach young people is to speak in a language they understand. We are a listening organisation and it’s about turning what young people are saying into a voice where young people can be heard.”

Users will be able to read real-life stories from under-18s affected by alcohol, watch educational videos, discuss drinking-related topics in dedicated forums and get in touch with local and national services that can provide counseling and treatment.

The Drinkaware Trust is also working closely with the Department of Health to create a new responsible drinking campaign. Breaking next spring, the push will focus on providing information about how many units are in different alcoholic drinks.

Nick Lawrence, the Department of Health’s programme manager for substance misuse, said: “It’s not finger wagging, it’s about information. We as a society have lost track of the amount we are drinking and the consequences of that.”