Alcohol, Schoolies & Universal Medicine: Something worth Talking About

by Luke Yokota, High School Student, Gold Coast, Australia

I’ve been around the work (Universal Medicine) now for about 4 years. During that time I have seen many changes in myself and others. I might add that when I started I was only 14 years old. You might say that because of my age it was only natural that I was changing and developing as a young man… and whilst that may be true, I still find it interesting to reflect on the ways I have changed, and wonder how different it would be if I didn’t have the inspiration of Universal Medicine and my fellow students.

I would say that through attending the workshops and courses I have been given many opportunities to assess my choices in a much more responsible manner. For example, during my final year in schooling we had many guest speakers come into the school to give talks on how to be safe at ‘schoolies’ – such as the Red frogs (Christian aid organisation), St John’s ambulance service and Queensland Police.

And of course, being in close connection with ‘schoolies’, the topic of alcohol and how to keep safe whilst drinking was high priority. Here were some of the suggestions the speaker from St John’s ambulance service had to share with us:

  • Have a designated driver.
  • Hide your keys from your intoxicated mate so he wouldn’t be able to drive.
  • Park your intoxicated mate in so they can’t move their car.
  • Get one of your attractive female friends to ask to borrow the keys to your intoxicated mate’s car.

But I think they left out one 100% sure-fire way to make sure no-one intoxicated came to or caused any harm.


I was surprised that this didn’t even come up as a suggestion, even though it was a room full of teenagers (mostly underage) who were about to go to ‘schoolies’… I would have thought that at least it would come up in passing. Wouldn’t it have been amazing for a room full of teenagers to hear from authority figures – such as the QLD Police or the St John’s ambulance service – that Not Drinking was an option as well?

You may say that not drinking is an assumed option… but is it really?

Ever since I started high school I’ve heard nothing but the glorification of ‘schoolies’: the getting wasted, the one-night stands with complete strangers and the all night partying. Imagine all that pressure to do all those things, from all your friends, for over 5 years in high school. How could you possibly think that not to drink was even an option when there had been so much hype beforehand?

“Hey man, we are gonna get so wasted at ‘schoolies’”.

There never really seemed to be any choice to me – just an assumption that we must partake in this activity, almost like a compulsory rite of passage. So I ask, can ‘not drinking’ really be an assumed option when no one has ever said it?

I researched a few points from the Australian Institution of Criminology in relation to alcohol violence.

According to the National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS), in 2007 approximately:

  • 1 in 4 Australians were victims of alcohol-related verbal abuse.
  • 13 percent were made to feel fearful by someone under the influence of alcohol.
  • 4.5 percent of Australians aged 14 years or older had been physically abused by someone under the influence of alcohol (AIHW 2008).
  • One-third (30%) of assault charges are likely to be attributable to alcohol.
  • Almost half (44%) of all intimate partner homicides, and the majority (87%) of intimate partner homicides involving Indigenous people, are alcohol related.

So why didn’t any of the guest presenters speak about ‘Not Drinking’? Surely this would have been the most effective method on minimising harm done at ‘schoolies’.

Universal Medicine, on the other hand, has allowed me to grow up seeing that:

  • To be loving and tender is ok, (it’s beyond ‘ok’; it should be normal).
  • Women deserve to be treated with love and respect, not as the lesser gender.
  • It is wise to implement measures to take care of myself, such as being in bed by 9, eating out of respect for the body, and making more effort to create harmonious relationships with everyone I meet.

The point that I wish to express here is, that if Serge Benhayon can present in such a way as to inspire an 18 year old boy so that he would much rather create deep meaningful relationships with everyone he meets, and treat himself and others with respect, rather than destroying himself with drugs and alcohol, then Universal Medicine is definitely something worth talking about.

Australian Institution of Criminology:

326 thoughts on “Alcohol, Schoolies & Universal Medicine: Something worth Talking About

  1. Beautiful – thank you for bringing clarity to the subject. Often this subject is not clearly discussed because of fear and discomforts.. but hey, you show us that there is absolutely a way to discuss our alcohol consumption and being honest about it. We have nothing to lose, only here to truly win.

  2. We all know the destruction alcohol can cause, so why is it that we try to minimise the ‘what ifs’, rather than tackle it head on and leave the booze out. ‘

  3. Every action has its consequences and every choice we make builds our present and our future. When all the options are not presented to someone, this leaves them short of the choices they could be making and at a disadvantage in life. But all we need is one person to stand out and do things differently and say yes to deeper care and respect for self and others – and this will remain as a reflection for all to see and be inspired by if they so choose.

  4. This is a fantastic sharing Luke and very powerful written by the hand of a teenager too! The vast majority of crimes and offenses committed as well as almost all incidents of domestic violence involve the consumption of alcohol or drugs or both. And yet as a society we continue to accept such practices of alcohol consumption and recreational drugs to the point where we assume that teenagers at schoolies will do this because it is now considered a ‘normal’ – how twisted and far away is this from our true nature? In my opinion a true educational sharing would be someone sharing their experiences of domestic violence, rape, loss of a loved one from drink driving accidents or other incidents that have not ended well and ask if it was worth the drink or the drug that was taken? We as people matter too much to skip over the value of a human life and the quality of true care and respect that we all deserve. How powerful would it be if we were to offer all options to teens including the not drinking option and the understanding of actions and consequences and making choices.

  5. I love it Luke – Leave out the booze! For most we have been brought up to only see that alcohol is normal so to consider taking it out is not a common thought. I remember how ill it made me but still would go back to it time and time again. That’s what you do isn’t it? Saying no has been a process and today it feels totally natural and normal to not drink alcohol. The bonus, I feel great all of the time.

  6. The ill effects of alcohol can easily be seen so the question has to be asked then as to why we are not willing to see what is plainly before us.

    1. Spot on Elizabeth, and in addition the human body is not equipped to detoxify alcohol efficiently at all – in fact once alcohol is consumed it is converted by the liver into a far more toxic molecule which wreaks more damage in the body before that can then be detoxified further to be excreted and removed from the body. So we get a double whammy of damage! Anyone can see this easily in another from the way it affects gait and speech and even by looking in their eyes, let alone the damage that then occurs with the loss of thinking processes and the compromised coordination leading to inappropriate behavior, violence and accidents. Not to mention the emotional damage that ensues and the recovery phase from the incidents which can affect us life long. The truth is that alcohol is no way supports the human body – many do not like to hear this but it is a fact – one we can choose to deny or ignore but this does not make it go away.

  7. What Universal Medicine are showing us is that there can be another way to live in a world that is not showing another way. And this experience of you and schoolies is a perfect example. If we dont know there is another way to be (i.e. not drinking, or being more tender and open) it is difficult to find it and then try to live it.

  8. Why is it not presented by authority figures that ‘Not Drinking’ was an option to underage school leavers during schoolies? And in a society in which alcohol causes so much destruction, this is a question that really does need to be asked.

  9. Very inspiring Luke, you should be the one representing the young when these talks are made and you can be the one introducing the possibility for the students to not drink at all. That would be amazing.

  10. I find it staggering that the very emergency services who are charge with ‘picking up the pieces’ of the disregarding use of alcohol, did not recommend not drinking. I wonder if this is because many of them still drink and to say don’t drink would not sit comfortably with them?

  11. Yes this is definitely something worth talking about. It’s astounding that getting wasted on alcohol is an accepted part of our education system. What kind of education is that?

  12. “Ever since I started high school I’ve heard nothing but the glorification of ‘schoolies’”. This is a great example of how we are set up for many years to follow an image of how things should be. The image itself makes you feel like that’s the only way to be at schoolies, so much so that not drinking alcohol isn’t even mentioned. This image is like the pressure to do well at school, to find a partner, buy a home, have kids. It’s all unconsciously and consciously drip-fed to us for years, and we are left to feel a failure if we don’t measure up.

  13. It is very interesting how of all the choices given to be safe, leaving alcohol out completely was not included. So this brings us to the question – where are we at as a society that we accept such behaviours from our young beautiful people who are growing into the adults who will eventually be the ones who are in charge of everything? Have we all really given up so far that the quality of living that follows us to become the leaders and manufacturers of life no longer matters?

    1. Relief is a huge topic, from its most obvious to its most subtlest ways. So, there is perhaps an opportunity here to become the observers of relief, and to see how it plays out in life so that we can spot it and decide for ourselves if that is what is really wanted.

  14. Absolutely Luke, not drinking alcohol is always an option. What a world we live in that with all the statistics for alcohol related harm we are still considering alcohol as something to champion.

  15. What you describe here is almost unheard of and the way you speak feels so solid and full of confidence in comparison to some of the teens I know who you can feel are putting on a front whilst feeling alone and lacking in true confidence.

  16. Luke, The responsible choices you are making at the age of 18 is deeply inspiring, and I feel it is you who should be invited to share about how to remain safe at ‘schoolies’. As you know the only way to remain safe around alcohol is to not drink it at all, and to hear this coming from someone of your age who lives this wisdom, would be a wonderful reflection for those who are about to embark on their end of school life festivities.

  17. ‘Women deserve to be treated with love and respect, not as the lesser gender.’
    The things Universal Medicine present are actually ‘no brainers’, so simple and true. And yet the world our teenagers live in is up side down and offers them hardly any truth or true reflections. No wonder so many give up and feel life is not worth living.

  18. Even the term “schoolies” is rather startling as it makes abuse sound fun and innocent, when in no way is it a joke, as this form of behaviour is very very harm-full, not only ourselves but to everyone around us. Are we being educated to make abuse normal?

  19. Very wise words Luke and a superb question. Why are we not suggesting to a room full of young impressionable teenagers that not drinking is a very viable option? This is a message that should be the number one topic of any presentation on alcohol – Leave It Out, especially when viewed against the backdrop of statistics you researched. The pure sense and wisdom of Universal Medicine and its teachings empowers us to address the devastating trends we have allowed free reign, inspiring us to take immense care of our selves and one another, the power of which is evidenced in your blog.

  20. The effects of alcohol are totally worth talking about until the ‘cows come home sober’. We need to also talk about what it feels like to be still in the body, and to not have abrupt emotional thoughts and behaviours that are not love (ever). It is not talked about enough because it is so socially accepted as normal. It is far from normal. It just looks as though it is because so many are doing it.

  21. Very interesting how we seek the way to manage the poison instead of calling the poison for what it is and eliminating it. And it is so amazing that you are being amongst it all, seeing it through, reflecting that there is another way.

    1. I was at a client’s house today and he was recounting when he saw someone taking a tray of muffins into the office as a gift and he thought it’s really strange that you would give a gift of cupcakes because if the cupcakes were replaced with poison it would no longer be a gift.

  22. Thank you Luke, great to read this again, I wonder what the current statistics are for alcohol related abuse and violence? I would say they would now be higher. Your presence as a representative to teenagers on another way of living that is not just alcohol free, but loving, harmonious, self caring and with a richness in your relationships might be the inspiration needed to show that not only is schoolies not true fun, but that there is a whole other way to be in life everyday.

  23. Luke you have outlined the reality of the world we live in and numbers do not lie…the rot is right in front of our eyes to see for those open to being aware and making the changes necessary.

  24. Well said Luke – on many levels. Yes, the pressure to partake and initiate ourselves into the drinking culture during our transition into adulthood is huge. And it is so true that we are not offered the opportunity to consider, not drinking at all is an option. If you don’t drink alcohol it is considered that something is wrong with you. So, it is beautiful to feel the confidence you have to be yourself, and more so to be true to honouring yourself regardless of the pressure surrounding you to do otherwise. Universal Medicine certainly does support us to develop a deeply loving relationship with ourselves so that we honor who we are, and can enjoy being ourselves in all our relationships.

  25. The real pin up boy! Luke, you’re a one in a million! A true inspiration of what it means to really be yourself and not be fooled by the craziness of the world.

  26. Drinking in general and ‘getting wasted’ in particular are seen as ‘normal’ and, interestingly enough, as a way to reward ourselves after a job well done, in this case having finished school. What makes us think that it is a reward when we punish our body? – is the obvious question here, is it not?

  27. I love what is shared here – and from one so young. What this reveals is that wisdom is not about how many years we have been on this planet, but how much we tune into the innateness within us – be we 18 or 80.

  28. Beautifully expressed Luke, thank you. I am reminded that in a biology class at school, we were shown a pair of lungs from someone who died from a smoking related disease. They were of course full of ‘tar’. I don’t recall ever being told or shown the impact of alcohol on the liver though. Drinking has for many years been socially acceptable – and to a very large degree, expected. It is very clear though that our body has to work hard to eliminate the toxins in alcohol, that people often behave abusively under its influence, and in many cases, it is at least a partial cause of physical violence. Yes, not drinking is an option and a very wise choice in my experience.

    1. Yes, agreed richardmills363, that would be great to show. Yet I wonder if they could do that because we are still so hooked on the consciousness that alcohol is ok to drink – even in moderation therefore we can’t even start the conversation.

  29. Finding a solution to how to cope with the harm associated with alcohol intoxification seems haphazard at best when you consider we are not ourselves when we drink.

  30. This is a classic example of us avoiding the elephant in the room…. Instead of trying to avoid, dilute or cushion what we can see is harming society, we need to face these things head on. The behaviours we currently consider ‘normal’ are obviously leading us in the wrong direction, and illness and disease is showing us this.

    1. I agree with you, Susie, trying to pretend it is not there by accepting and cushioning the distractions doesn’t lead us to ‘the stairways to Heaven’, but only brings us further from ‘home’.

  31. It is no wonder that after completing school so many are looking to check out and escape from reality using alcohol and other drugs. The way we raise children and bring them through the education system imposes greatly on our young people, in a way that does not equip them to deal with life.

  32. Is it the alcohol which has become normal, or the state of being it produces that we have all accepted as a regular and reasonable way to be with our bodies?

  33. I know from the young people I have talked to that going to University there is a huge assumption that getting wasted is very cool and without question what every student is there to do. There are competitions and games around who can drink the most and some students are fearful of what might happen if they don’t conform and they go head with these “rituals” . Some may be able to delay the process but nearly everyone falls in at some point. Your blog shows that you actually don’t have to do what everyone else is doing nor lose your self respect, or respect from others when you choose not to join the crowd. How wise it would be for our educators to include the option of not drinking, outlining the hazards and making it sound just as cool, if not more so, to NOT drink alcohol. Parents too have a place in this. It would alleviate a lot of the worry that parents have around their young going out at night if they knew no drinking or drugs were involved. The rate of alcohol related crime and abuse is probably a lot higher than the statistics show because a lot goes unreported. And what if the parents themselves become more responsible about their own drinking habits, looking at why and how they drink and if there is another way for them also.

  34. So claimed Luke – thank you for sharing your experience and claiming the honour you have for your body. I always felt the heavy stigma around getting wasted that came with schoolies, so I offered to be the driver so I wouldn’t have to drink. But Universal Medicine does present true responsibility through and through – and it is a way of living where it isn’t about not drinking, but about deepening relationships and honouring our bodies and each other.

  35. There is a lot of peer pressure around schoolies and being as wild as you can. This must be difficult for the teens who do not want to drink or party hard but just want to have fun with their friends celebrating the end of school. There is something wrong in society when celebrating = abusing yourself.

  36. There seems to be a bit of an acceptance if not giving-up mentality with how adults relate to teens and trends such as ‘schoolies’ and alcohol use. I’m surprised that there were not any other kinds of programs to even inspire kids to make different choices. School for the kids must be like living in the tension of a tightly pulled elastic band, and they focus on ‘schoolies’ as a way to release and let go of the tension, but it’s unfortunately a very self harming way to let go and ‘celebrate’.

  37. It takes someone to be a role model to inspire another to do likewise. The question is what kind of role model do we want for young people – one who drinks and trashes themselves, sleeps around and has little to no respect for themselves and others? Or one who deeply cares for himself and his fellow human beings, who is there to light the way by bringing depth to relationships, and reminding everyone of an olde way of being that is so beautiful to re-connect with? Thank you Luke for presenting the latter!

  38. Luke you have nailed it with this blog, and in its simplicity, you have also exposed the ridiculous choices that we can sometimes make thinking that that it is the only option. But if we were to open our eyes, and truly look with a willingness to see, we would see that those choices are simply an awful distraction, conjured up to keep us away from the awareness of the amazing beings that we are. Your blog has hit home with me, in the sense of feeling the devastation of our youth and how it does seem like there is only one choice which is to follow the masses and go to ‘schoolies’ and get ‘wasted’…With someone like you standing strong and confident in your choice to respect yourself and those around you, this at least gives every other teenager a reflection and a reminder that there is another way. Thank you so much Luke for all that you bring, not just to your generation but to us all!

  39. Leave the booze out has not been an option because the people talking about ‘drinking in moderation’ and other such measures are drinkers themselves and don’t want to take the responsibility of being role models to others and especially the younger generation.

  40. Does it show that we have given up on offering healthier choices to young people because not having booze didn’t even come up as a choice, or is it that those offering the advice don’t think to suggest this because they couldn’t imagine that themselves and don’t see it as realistic. Either way, our normalising of alcohol and stigmatising of a sober life is a sad reflection of our level of care and role modelling we offer. Perhaps if more adults demonstrated how normal and fun life is without alcohol, more teens would be less inclined to wear drunkenness as such a badge of honour.

  41. ‘The point that I wish to express here is, that if Serge Benhayon can present in such a way as to inspire an 18 year old boy so that he would much rather create deep meaningful relationships with everyone he meets, and treat himself and others with respect, rather than destroying himself with drugs and alcohol, then Universal Medicine is definitely something worth talking about.’ Awesome Luke, and really needed today.

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