The Health Risks
3 in 10 young people who have drunk alcohol (30%) have experienced a negative consequence of their drinking.
- Drinking alcohol can damage a child's health, even if they're 15 or older. It can affect the normal development of vital organs and functions, including the brain, liver, bones and hormones.
- Beginning to drink before age 14 is associated with increased health risks, including alcohol-related injuries, involvement in crime, and poor mental health.
- Drinking at an early age is also associated with risky behaviour, such as violence, having more sexual partners, pregnancy, using drugs, employment problems and drink driving.
- Anyone who drinks a lot in a short space of time can suffer alcohol poisoning.
- Research shows that underage drinkers are more likely to suffer from a range of health issues including weight loss, disturbed sleep, headaches
- Evidence also reveals that children who start to drink by age 13 are more likely to go on to have worse grades, to skip school and, in the worst case scenario, to be excluded from school
- Compared to non-drinkers, underage drinkers are more likely to smoke tobacco, use cannabis or use other hard drugs
- Drinking alcohol can increase the risk of developing liver disease and young people who drink regularly are also at risk and start to damage their livers without realising.