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.

LEAVE THE BOOZE OUT!

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.

Reference:
Australian Institution of Criminology: http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/rip/1-10/04.html

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. ‘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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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’.

  17. 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.

  18. 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?

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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’.

  23. 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!

  24. 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!

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. ‘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.

  28. Sometimes it seems when talking about prevention we are so focused on providing ways to reduce harm we leave out the obvious!

  29. Someone close to me died on their eighteenth birthday, a consequence of being the front seat passenger, in a car driven by someone who was under the influence of alcohol, as were all passengers. The devastation caused to families is still felt today. And yet drinking alcohol is an accepted feature in most families. True education begins in the home and parents our first role models and teachers. Thankfully, more families are choosing to not drink alcohol at all, not for car safety, but health related reasons.

  30. The message ‘don’t drink and drive’ is exposed in this blog. What we need instead are the messages and role models that say ‘don’t drink alcohol’, ‘love yourself’ .

  31. “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.” This opportunity is a most magnificent blessing offered to all and it is most wonderful to see how many young people are embracing this responsibility, naturally through the teachings offered at Universal Medicine.

  32. “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.” I have witnessed this evidence in so many young adults and teens attending to Universal Medicine events. It seems that they are given a true foundation and are able to access a deeper connection with themselves and the responsibility they are embracing is awe inspiring.

  33. Luke, I feel your love and care for both yourself and others here. You show us all what is possible. And how crazy is it that not drinking is not even suggested, it just shows how steeped in drink culture we are, such that we aim to minimise the harm without looking at the cause (alcohol).

  34. Brilliantly exposed Luke: the degree in which society accepts and promotes the drinking of alcohol to school pupils, when those ‘responsible officers’ could so easily have offered another option ‘Don’t start drinking’ and given them a presentation on the consequences of alcohol abuse using the statistics you’ve shared with us.

  35. I find it hugely sad that this is the accepted normal for teenagers – I myself was this way and didn’t know there was another way. What a beautiful reflection you offer Luke.

    1. This is how it was in the 80’s when I was a teenager and it’s still the same now and likely to be even worse because of the new illicit drugs available. To me the fact it’s been like this for decades highlights the importance of what Universal Medicine offers, including their model for self care which supports people to bring true change into their own lives. All that Serge Benhayon shares is truly needed in this world.

  36. Solutions are never the true answer. We will only have the true answer if it comes from a place which is different in consciousness that the problem itself. Trying to find a way to amend safety from alcohol cannot come from the same place that alcohol consumption is taken to be normal.

  37. Luke you are an inspiring young man, a true role model for both young and old…thank you for sharing (and educating) us all.

  38. “So I ask, can ‘not drinking’ really be an assumed option when no one has ever said it?” Good question Luke and I like it that you as a teenager put your finger on this topic as it seems through my own experience as a teenager that most of them are loosing their connection to their body to feel what is good for them and what not. I have lost myself completely and I would have made a different choice if I would have met Serge Benhayon at that time.

  39. Luke what an opportunity to attend Universal Medicine while you were a teenager, and really interesting how the lectures you had at school didn’t actually say leave the booze out, to choose not to drink when everyone wants to experiment with it takes someone who cares deeply for themselves. Beautiful to read how inspired you have been through Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

    1. Through Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, teens and adults alike are given the opportunity to come back to their true selves.

  40. What a blessing to have found Universal Medicine as you were going through those changes in life, that you had such a strong positive influence asking you to simply be yourself.

  41. It’s sad that what you talk about Luke is so ‘special’ and ‘abnormal’. Shows how settled we are as a society at the normalisation of drinking poison for a good time! But how can we be having a good time if drinking alcohol immediately makes us something we are not? Disconnection in a bottle and it’s how we socialise – we need to make a new normal.

    1. I see many young students, part-taking in the studies of ‘The Way of The Livingness’ making a new normal and it is magnificent to feel their power, self-confidence and presence.

  42. Thanks Luke for highlighting these statistics on alcohol, these are shocking stats and should be sending alarm bells through the community about how we can educate and protect especially the younger generation to not fall into the trap of drinking and seeing it as something ‘normal’ and the only way to enjoy your friends company.

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