THE police revealed this week that more than 50 litres of alcohol were seized from young people in the region over the festive period.
In one incident alone, £60-worth of drink was confiscated from two youths.
However, despite the haul, Julie Murray, the co-ordinator of the Scottish Borders Alcohol and Drug Partnership, said there was a downward trend in youngsters in the region trying alcohol and in those claiming to drink regularly.
“This is very positive and our partnership is committed to raising awareness of the impact and potential dangers for the health and wellbeing of young people consuming alcohol,” said Ms Murray.
“We would encourage parents to assist and support us in our efforts to combat this problem.”
The required awareness-raising is well under way, according to Safer Communities Inspector John Scott whose locality integration officers visited secondary schools in the run-up to the Christmas holiday.
“This work is part of a multi-agency initiative involving the police, the partnership and Scottish Borders Council’s education department,” said Inspector Scott.
“My officers have been working with secondary school pupils and teaching staff to highlight the effects and potential dangers for young people consuming alcohol.
“It is also considered a valuable preventative measure to reduce the potential for young people to engage in alcohol-related antisocial behaviour.
“Alcohol causes significant problems within the Borders, in particular when consumed by young people, and this initiative is one of many measures in place to protect our young people and ensure our region remains a safe place to live.”
Inspector Scott cited last year’s Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance User Survey which indicated that over 80 per cent of 15-year-olds are not regularly drinking – a vast improvement on the 61 per cent reported in 2006.
If any member of the public is concerned about the well-being of a young person or alternatively, a young person is concerned regarding their alcohol consumption and would like advice, they are asked to contact face2face 01896 668811 or www.face2faceborders.com or Hawick police station on 01450 375051.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Government this week launched a new campaign to encourage Scots to think about the health effects of drinking above recommended guidelines.
The initiative, entited Drop a Glass Size, is primarily aimed at women. The Scottish Health Survey recently indicated that 38 per cent of women regularly exceed daily or weekly sensible drinking guidelines. An estimated one in 30 female deaths in Scotland is alcohol-related.
“Evidence shows that most people who drink alcohol, particularly at home, have no idea how much they are actually consuming,” said health minister Nicola Sturgeon.
“Our campaign aims to show people how small changes to their drinking habits can have a signficant impact on their health and wellbeing.”