GIVING up her entire lifestyle of eating sugar has been difficult for Maurice Blackburn Lawyers legal assistant Rachel Bhatt, but she said it was nothing in comparison to what Australia's disadvantaged youth would be going through during substance abuse.

Mrs Bhatt is participating in the national challenge FebFast, which asks Australians to renounce sugar and alcohol during February to raise awareness and funds for disadvantaged youth.

"Youth addiction is a critical issue that has significant impacts on individuals, families and the greater community," she said.

"By participating we can seek to create greater awareness and opportunities for disadvantaged youth and hopefully improve the outlook on youth addiction.

"Sadly, over 12% of people living in Australia aged 16-24 are affected by substance abuse, leaving a long-lasting negative impact on their lives.

"I found these figures alarming, which was why I am happy to do what I can by giving up sugar to help raise awareness and provide vital funding."

Mrs Bhatt said she chose to only give up sugar because she didn't really drink alcohol. However her husband, who was completing the challenge with her, was giving up alcohol.

"He's struggling, there's been a few mood swings but he hasn't swayed yet," she said.

"(For me) the first week was hard, especially in Toowoomba because we're surrounded by fast food - there's three alone on my drive to work.

"I had a headache last week but this week has been perfect."

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers regional office leader and lawyer Bianca O'Neill said she and the other office members were proud to support Mrs Bhatt in her efforts.

"The more people who can get behind this, the better," Mrs O'Neill said.

Mrs Bhatt is hoping to raise $1000. You can donate at febfast.org.au.



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