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The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommends that no-one under the age of 18 drink alcohol. WHY?

  • Alcohol can interrupt brain development and cause permanent damage
  • Drinking is associated with aggression, depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder and ADHD
  • Adolescent drinking contributes to increased risk of injury, car accidents and suicide
  • Drinking in adolescence can lead to alcohol dependence and abuse in adulthood
  • Drinking is linked to risky sexual behaviour and poorer school results

36% of alcohol related hospitalisations involve young people 28% of alcohol related injuries involve young people.


How can you help reduce the dangers of alcohol for your child?

  • Start a conversation with your child about alcohol and its dangers
  • Make some rules about no alcohol use before 18 and agree on consequences 
  • Talk about it being illegal for adults to supply young people with alcohol
  • Develop alcohol free activities with friends and family 
  • Help your child develop strategies for refusing alcohol


Parents who make rules regarding no  alcohol until 18 report their young people:

  • Feel less pressured to drink
  • Rebel by drinking less than they would if they were allowed to drink generally


If the rules are broken, stay calm and provide the consequence – just enough to show your disapproval. 

Supporting your child when they go out:

54% of serious alcohol related road injuries involve young people!

  • Be prepared to pick them up rather than risk them getting in a car with someone who is drunk
  • Give them money for a taxi
  • Talk to other parents and arrange someone else to pick them up
  • Arrange for them to stay at the home of a friend that lives nearby
  • Remember that cycling or being a pedestrian whilst drunk can also be very dangerous
  • Talk to the parents of your child’s friends about no alcohol before 18 

What to do if you have concerns about your child’s drinking, or your own? 

Treatment services are supportive and non- judgmental. You can seek advice or counselling. Alcohol use is often linked to mental wellbeing and services can help with this too.


Where to go for support:

Barwon Child, Youth & Family – (BCYF)

Alcohol and other Drugs Programs – 1300 02 2293 or email



(Youth Online Drug and Alcohol Advice)

Victorian Youth Alcohol and other Drug information, advice and referral service.

Barwon Health – 1300 094 187

Family Drug Support Australia – 1300 368 186

Headspace – 5222 6690

Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-Op – 5277 0044