Drinking smarter from the start

Did you know that some parts of your brain don't mature until you're in your early twenties? The teenage years are a crucial time for developing the areas that handle planning and judgement. That's why the latest scientific evidence recommends that an alcohol-free childhood is the healthiest start.

You call the shots

As a young person you might be naturally curious about alcohol, or you might feel peer pressure to start drinking before you're ready. The important thing is to learn about the risks as well as the benefits associated with alcohol. That way you can be in control of your drinking before you've even started. So what risks might you face?

  • Alcohol can make you feel more social and less inhibited, but it can also make you do things you later regret or find embarrassing. From the picture you quickly de-tag on facebook, to more serious consequences like waking up beside someone you don't know, having too much to drink can result in you doing things you wouldn't normally do.
  • Young people's bodies are more vulnerable than adults to the damaging effects of alcohol. In particular the brain, which is still developing right into your early twenties. This can stop you reaching your full potential.
  • Alcohol can make you more vulnerable to unsafe sexual activity or becoming a victim of crime.
  • The earlier you start drinking, the higher the chance you'll have alcohol-related problems as an adult.
  • Every year in Scotland, around 250 young people under 15 are admitted to hospital because of alcohol1.

Before you start drinking, why not talk to your parents, carer or teacher about what it might mean for you.  Or, read more at www.getthelowdown.co.uk or www.youngscot.org.

Sources

  1. www.alcohol-focus-scotland.org.uk/alcohol-young-people
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