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u18 picALCOHOL AND YOUNG PEOPLE UNDER 18

If you're under eighteen, you're advised not to drink because the body is less well equipped to cope with the effects of alcohol, physically and emotionally - your liver's not fully developed (your liver breaks down the toxins in alcohol) and neither is your brain. This is why the UK Chief Medical Officers in 2009 issued guidance for under 18s suggesting that an alcohol free childhood is the best option, but that at age 15 some use in supervised situations is acceptable. See the Chief Medical Officers' advice.

The effects of Alcohol

The same amount of alcohol will have a much greater effect on your body than on an adult, because your body - especially your brain and liver are still growing and developing. Read about alcohol and your health.

Because alcohol affects your judgement and perception and drinking a lot in one session can lead to alcohol poisoning, coma and in extreme cases death, there are laws setting an age limit to buy alcohol in shops or bars and drinking without parental supervision.

See these four clips by young people, whose lives have been dramatically affected by drinking too much alcohol, tell their stories:

bbc educ film - alan
Alan's story

BBC educ - Anna
Anna's story

BBC Educ = Emily
Emily's story

BBC Educ - Jordan
Jordan's story

Find out more about how alcohol can affect you:

body

See our alcohol and the law information sheet here:

alcohol and law factsheetalcohol and the law

Facts and guidance for older teenagers
  talking to your kids about alcoholDrinking guidelines in the UK and the effects of too much alcohol' link to parents guideInformation leaflet for teenagers 'Alcohol and You' stay safe fact sheet
Top tips for staying safe if you plan to drink
drink drive fact sheetPlanning to drive? Drink Drive Factsheet  
To find out more, visit these recommended websites for 11-16 year-olds:
myth bustersfasy factsthink 4 yourself

alcohol and the law

Click here to view a table of International Legal drinking age.

VALIDATE UK aims to ensure that age restricted goods and services are only sold to those old enough to purchase them; it also helps those who may look younger than they are to prove their age .

Click below for details of the UK's national guarantee scheme for proof-of-age cards

 

Further sources of information

Here are some good youth-friendly websites offering advice on alcohol:

Talk About Alcoholwww.talkaboutalcohol.com - Here you’ll find quizzes, interactive games and facts about alcohol.

The Sitewww.thesite.org

Talk to Frankwww.talktofrank.com

The Alcohol Education Trust – www.alcoholeducationtrust.org

If you’re worried about your or someone else’s drinking or if you’re worried about dependency and alcohol problems, the following sites could help:

ADFAM provides information and advice for families of alcohol and drug users. The website has a list of local family support services. Tel: 0207 553 7640 www.adfam.org.uk

Alateen is part of the Al-Anon fellowship and has been developed for young people, aged 12 to 20, who are affected by a problem drinker. Tel: 0207 403 0888 www.al-anonuk.org.uk/alateen

Addaction provides treatment, help and advice about alcohol and drugs for young people and adults. Manages more that 120 services in 80 locations in England and Scotland. Tel: 0207 251 5860 www.addaction.org.uk

Childline provides confidential help and counselling for young people. Tel: 0800 1111 (Freephone) www.childline.org.uk

Drinkline If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s drinking, you can call this free helpline, in complete confidence. They can put you in touch with your local alcohol advice centre for help and advice. Tel: 0800 917 8282 (24 hours a day helpline)

 

 

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