Drinking at a young age can be related to a range of health and social problems. Here are some tips for talking to young people about alcohol.

AN ALCOHOL-FREE CHILDHOOD IS THE HEALTHIEST AND BEST OPTION

Drinking alcohol at any stage of childhood can have a detrimental effect on the development of vital organs including the brain, liver, bones and hormones. In particular, alcohol during teenage years is related to a wide range of health and social problems.

Drinking at an early age is associated with risky behaviour such as violence, having more sexual partners, pregnancy, using drugs, employment problems and drink driving.

That’s why an alcohol-free childhood is the healthiest and best option.

TALKING TO YOUNG PEOPLE ABOUT ALCOHOL

Warm and supportive parent-adolescent relationships are associated with lower levels of adolescent drinking, as well as lower rates of problematic alcohol use and misuse.

If you would like to talk to your child about the dangers of alcohol, here are a few pointers on what you might say and how to say it: 

  • Research suggests that children are less likely to drink alcohol when their parents show that they don’t agree with it.
  • Be there for your child and make sure they know you are. Answer their questions about drinking.
  • Explain how alcohol can affect our judgement. Drinking too much could lead to something they much later regret, such as having unprotected sex or getting into fights.
  • If your child wants to drink, help them understand how to do it responsibly.
  • Warn your child about the dangers of drink spiking and how to avoid it.

Help you child work out a plan. Where are they going, how are they getting home and will they be with friends who can look after each other?