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:

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

  1. Wow Luke it is awesome to hear your sharing of this! Especially at an age where it is actually abnormal to behave in the way we do – drinking, sleeping around, being self destructive… Schoolies sure is the perfect place to do this, and it is very encouraged to drink and party. I remember opting to be the designated driver because I will more willing to do this and take care of my friends than get smashed. But it didn’t cross my mind to not drink because this is not talked about, so it shows the extent we have made drinking ‘normal’ when it actually isn’t.

  2. Great blog Luke, as a 21 year old woman who has gone through the binge drinking, drug taking etc, I 100% can back up your statement that Universal Medicine teaches a loving way to be with ourselves and everybody else around us.

  3. Very awesome blog Luke, I never thought about how much pressure there is to be involved in Schoolies, I never finished school and did not experience one myself. The fact that the Ambo drivers couldn’t at least be role modelling another way is disappointing but at the same time it reminds me of the dedication of reflection that I must bring to be a true role model for young people and anyone else that might feel pressured. I am looking forward to being a leader in this way.

  4. Thank you Luke for a great sharing, you would have to be one of the ‘rare breeds’ of young people who have come to understand about true responsibility and taking loving care of your body, what an inspiring reflection you give to those especially in your age group where drug and alcohol taking seem to be the rite of passage.

  5. Hugely powerful Luke! Words of a true Role Model! I hope one day you take it upon yourself to be a guest speaker at high schools on the topic of schoolies and the other option that does very much exist but certainly not spoken of!

  6. What an inspiring blog to read Luke. I agree with you in full – ‘Universal Medicine is definitely something worth talking about’.
    Over several years of attending Universal Medicine presentations, it continues to be an absolute joy to witness the children attending by their own choice and their un-contained love and joy for being with and being met in full by Serge Benhayon as equals. These children are now young adults who are filled with wisdom, a natural inner confidence and choose not to succumb to the drug and alcohol abuse that many teens do.
    “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”.

  7. Thank you Luke, what you share here is awesome and so needed in a world that considers something wrong with you if you don’t choose to drink. Everywhere we go we are bombarded with alcohol and how ‘normal’ it is to drink and especially get drunk – no matter what age you are. I agree it would be refreshing and a great step if at school children were educated on the truth about alcohol being a poison and how harming it is to the body and that you have a choice to say no and to feel empowered by your decision.

  8. You raise a great question here Luke, and the fact that it wasn’t raised by the authority figures that came along to present at your school really exposes just how normalised alcohol abuse has become. It does take commitment to go against the tide of what is the created ‘norm’ but what supports me to do this in the area of alcohol and a number of others areas in my life, is my body. If I listen to it and value what I hear, it then makes no sense continue to do the things it very clearly does not want me to do.

  9. It is rare to hear a young person publicly expose the effects of alcohol and the abnormal culture of drinking in our society, without emotional reaction.

  10. Luke your logic is undeniable – in terms of what you present regarding young people, schoolies and alcohol, and regarding Universal Medicine. To turn one’s back on either topic is a hallmark of irresponsibility, of our adherence to comfort and indulgence over responsibility for ourselves and mankind.  

  11. There is a sense of ‘given-up-ness’ in the relevant authorities’ approach to the subject of schoolies. They seem to have come down too heavily on the side of accepting that underage binge-drinking is a given, and that all that’s left to be done is mitigate the harm. I’d love to see a Universal Medicine-inspired tilt at the same subject – I’m betting it would be less about parking in a drunk mate and more imparting an understanding of what it is to drink, and why we do it… and that in every situation we have a choice.

  12. An awesome article that exposes how accepted alcohol and underage drinking is. In our culture it is deemed as a rite of passage. I wonder if this would be the case if appreciation for our bodies and the delicate way the work was fostered in our upbringing?

  13. When reading this article there is a sense that the authorities and first aid organisations see it as a waste of time to even suggest that the teenagers do not drink, and it is taken for granted that everyone will. It is sad how alcohol plays a huge part in our lives and seems to take centre stage at any event, and those who abstain are seen as strange or weird.

  14. Often people look at those who ‘abuse alcohol’ or ‘drink too much’ with criticism, although how many consider that ‘moderate’ alcohol consumption is still actually a choice to drink poison?

  15. Great subject to bring our attention to Luke, why are we coming up with strategies to deal with issues such as alcohol consumption, rather than addressing the root cause of why we think we need these behaviours that are so unnatural for us.

  16. Well said Luke. We must talk about the option to abstain rather than assume it is a given to partake. Drugs and alcohol do not need to be a right of passage and people in authority sharing that with young people gives them permission and sometimes the confidence to say no for themselves.

  17. Thank you, a very important and pertinent contribution. Just that one quote alone says it all: “One-third (30%) of assault charges are likely to be attributable to alcohol.” How much more proof do we need that we are not ourselves when we drink alcohol, that it is as though something gets into us? When will it finally be okay and normal to go for ‘no alcohol’ rather than the watered-down ‘alcohol in moderation’ hypocritical nonsense? Since when is a little bit of poison okay or even beneficial in any way?

  18. You are nothing short of inspirational Luke… your clarity on this topic provides another way for a generation of kids who are seemingly stuck in the only option previously available to them… drunk and potentially dangerous. Now they have a role model for a different way.

  19. I was one of those as a young person who championed schoolies and totally wrote myself off for the week and got involved in a few incidents that could have been critical. We spoke about them with bravado even though it was quite traumatic at points but we didn’t care because we just wanted to write ourselves off (get very wasted) at that point. I guess we need to be asking why – why do so many young people want to write themselves off after year 12? What are they wanting to relieve themselves from?

  20. Drinking a scientifically proven poison ‘in moderation’ never made sense to me, even though most adults will claim that it is good for you to do so!

  21. Universal Medicine presents the energetic truth of the many addictions facing humanity nowadays, that it is a choice that is made knowing too well the repercussions on the body and the harming effects it creates and that there is another way based on self-care and love for self and others around us.

  22. I agree, Serge Benhayon is a true role model add great inspiration. And as to alcohol, it is assumed that everybody consumes it and words from people who themselves are drinkers (and possibly not always moderate drinkers) ring empty and fall onto deaf ears, mostly. It seems everybody is tiptoing around the fact that alcohol is a poison in order to bide more time and have another drink or two.

  23. So well said Luke, and I absolutley agree, the impact of the use and abuse of alcohol and drug needs to have a totally different approach, particularly to our younger generations. By laying out the facts of how poisonous it is not only to our own bodies when we consume it, but in the effect it has on us and in turn on others, and the devastating effect it can have on our lives.

  24. Hear hear Luke, I am with you. Giving voice to the option of not drinking and not taking drugs is so important. I also know from experience that young people will copy their parents coping mechanisms and behaviours, so if the parent can’t party without alcohol then the young person doesn’t have a reflection of that being possible. This is something I share with other parents. It is not about never drinking but about sharing how to destress, how to nurture yourself when you are tired and how to party without alcohol or other drugs being the go to mechanisms for each.

  25. Thank you Luke, it is true, many people might say it is too hard to inspire young people not to drink alcohol but as you say it is possible. The trick is that many adults drink alcohol so even if they say don’t drink it would not come with much power, as well that many adults don’t see the harm of alcohol if it is drunk in ‘moderation’. Serge Benhayon does live his life very honouring and with very much integrity, and no alcohol, which gives him a lot of authority in supporting others to not drink, without even trying to. In a way loving yourself is ‘contagious’ at least for me it is.

  26. When we assess and make our choices in a responsible manner it opens us to the opportunity of true understanding and wisdom.

  27. I guess their is such a low expectation of high school students in relation to something such as schoolies. The ambulance guys will be seeing the sharp end of the stick, the outcome of “schoolies”. It really highlights how normal is what we make it, and perhaps if we have low expectations of how a young adult will behave, then what we will get is a low return. There certainly is a lot of pressure on young people to conform, so a message that contradicts this would be most welcome and may stick in the memory of those hearing it, regardless of whether it was heeded straight away or not. I think back to my own many days drinking and I cringe at the dangers involved in “getting wasted”, not fun!!

  28. Universal Medicine and what they represent, live, and their incredible ethics and integrity is definitely worth talking about. I know that if I had Universal Medicine in my life when I was younger … oh my goodness it would have been so very different .. no disregard, self-loathing, feeling lost … the list goes on. I would have been so much more self-loving .. It would have been an extremely positive thing for both myself and my family. If there is one thing I have learnt it is in a room full of people every single person is a teacher, we should not just rely on the people standing at the front of the room and what they are saying, we have a chance to speak too, so although no-one else introduced the concept of ‘hey what about not drinking alcohol?’ You could have. Never hold back what you have to say because from going by this blog what you have to say is pretty darn good.

  29. It’s very refreshing to here a young man consider that not drinking at all was an option during a big social event and then go onto discuss the terrible statistics there are in relation to alcohol and our society. We have a long way to go with our alcohol usage and why we use it, but with young men such as your self leading the way and inspiring others on what a good time truly is, without needing substances such as alcohol, we will begin to see the truth much more clearly.

  30. I can’t remember even having talks about alcohol in high school. I am 46 years old. I remember there were some high school pupils interested in drugs, smoking and partying but very few in each year. I was not interested even when I was offered alcohol at a function when I was fifteen. It was later that I felt pressurised into drinking and I never considered that I had a choice because that was not an option unless I was driving. The point I’m making here is that even underage drinking was going on it was not being addressed in school. If I were to go to high school today if would be very different to how things were back then but discussing what is going on is certainly a first step and although it has become the norm to drink alcohol having the awareness that it is a choice and that there is an option to not drink certainly would have given me food for thought later on in life even though I probably would have ignored the wisdom making ‘fitting in’ above all else.

  31. To know that ‘One-third (30%) of assault charges are likely to be attributable to alcohol’ and CONTINUE to use and abuse alcohol in the way we do is absurd, but as you’ve shared for young people and adults too it’s so socially acceptable to drink and get drunk that to NOT do it is often the abnormal thing…

  32. Luke, you are such an outstanding example of a young man. What if there are many young people who are craving the example of a different way? It is a blessing that people like yourself are living a different way so that others know there is a choice.

  33. You speak such common sense Luke. When we live to what is ‘normal’ or socially accepted we don’t have the freedom to consider that there could be another way, hence why all the presenters did not think to consider this. Amazing that you have had other opportunities that allow you to have more choice.

  34. The problem with focusing on managing ways is that they leave out a truer option. In the case of drinking, for example, not to drink. If it is not mentioned, this will never even be considered as an option (although of course, it always is).

  35. It is common when people present on alcohol to just talk about how to drink less etc., but rarely is it discussed why we have such a dependency on alcohol in the first place and how to address the emotional tension.

  36. If being associated with Universal Medicine would bring up a young man like you, Luke, I am sure every parent around the world would want to send their kids to Universal Medicine instead of normal school. You are such an inspiration.

  37. I didn’t go to school in Australia, so this was enlightening in terms of the pressure and rite of passage of schoolies. Wow – what a set-up for a young man and woman to succumb to peer pressure and lose themselves in such a way – and how this sets them up for adult life. i speak from my own experience- we had ‘freshers’ week’ at 1st year uni and the aim was for the older ones at uni to ‘grab a fresher’. It was an institutionalised week of booze and debauchery before starting up the intensity of a university degree. What was the aim? It left me and so many more feeling the emptiness of false ‘belonging’ and it set me up – with my approval of course at the time – for a 4 year period of immense disregard. How very different would it be, if as young people and as institutions we set up inaugurations and celebrations from a true place of celebration – one that truly cares and gives young people an exemplary moment in time of what it is to celebrate you for the real you, in the pure respect and care we all deserve.

  38. When i was 18 I never stopped to think whether it was an option to drink or not, at least my children will understand they are making choice.

  39. It is a no brainer (for me) that alcohol, and drugs, cause major harm to my body and well-being. I do not think, consider, measure, contemplate, or feel in any way to consume these poisonous substances EVER. The difference been I make the choice from my body.

  40. There is no doubt that alcohol has a damaging effect on not only our bodies but on our relationships also. More and more evidence is coming out to support this fact but the greatest evidence we all have is how we honestly feel in our bodies the following day. This highlights how much we all succumb to the pressures of society to follow what is considered the ‘norm’, regardless of whether it feels true for us or not, or to even be aware that we have a choice to say ‘no’ to drinking alcohol.

  41. Using substances to numb ourselves is one way of coping with life. It is usually not sustainable long term physically or emotionally and at the end the problem is still there and needs to be dealt with. Learning how to best support yourself and work through stuff as it comes up is another choice or life skill.

  42. If an organisation and specifically a man Serge Benhayon is able to speak – on and off stage- in a way that is able to get through to a teenage boy of your age (without trying I might add but simply presenting truth for humanity) then we really do need to stop and listen. I mean how many times do you hear parents talk about the fact that their teenagers won’t listen to them? I am hugely surprised that we are so taken by the “norm” when it comes to schoolies we are unable to see what we are enabling here. Serge is so connected to himself that when he shares it never feels like he is trying to convince you or change you, it just feels like he is sharing facts about his lived experience, most people respond well to this style of presentation.

  43. When we share with others what we truly know, it resonates within the other person who then has a choice whether to accept it or not…but expressing to others in this way naturally inspires another to choose it for themselves.

  44. It is quite amazing that saying no to alcohol has not been presented as an option to these young people, especially by those who have to look after the schoolies who are affected by alcohol. It does take a lot to stand out from the crowd especially amongst your peers Luke, but in doing so you are giving them a gift by your reflection.

  45. Brilliant Luke. And hugely revealing of the society we are in, which clearly champions drinking, getting wasted and abusing one’s body and that of others, while it tries to humiliate if not dismiss a true and harmonious way of living.

  46. A young man saying no to alcohol and not only that he is willing to write about it publicly…gosh that’s ‘abnormal’ yet totally natural.

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