There can be a difference in the behaviour and side effects seen in teenagers when they drink alcohol because teenager’s brains are still developing which can result in negative effects in the short and long-term.
In March 2009, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released the Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol. The 2009 Guidelines focus on health risks accumulating over a lifetime from alcohol use.
Guidelines 3A and 3B provide guidelines for reducing risk to those under 18-years-of-age:
GUIDELINE 3A - REDUCE RISK TO THOSE UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE
Parents and carers should be advised that children under 15-years-of-age are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking and that for this age group, not drinking alcohol is especially important.
GUIDELINE 3B - REDUCE RISK TO THOSE UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE
For young people aged 15 to 17 years, the safest option is to delay the initiation of drinking for as long as possible.
1 National Health and Medical Research Council (2009). Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol: Commonwealth of Australia. Available at http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines/publications/ds10
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For emergencies call the 000 emergency line.