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Drinkaware provides you with information to make informed decisions about the effects of alcohol on your life.

NHS Alcohol Effects
Learn more about the hidden effects of alcohol on your health.

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Alcohol advice for parents

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Unlike hard drugs, alcohol can be seen as socially acceptable and you might feel relieved that your child is ‘only’ drinking

However, the sobering fact is that, generally speaking, drinking when you are under 18 is illegal. Your child can be prosecuted for it, as can anyone who buys or supplies them with it.

Not only is it against the law, but the damage it can do to your child’s health can last a lifetime.

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Most young people have their first alcoholic drink at around the age of 12, often with their parents. Adolescents tend to drink more secretively, experimenting with alcohol and hiding it from their parents.

Excessive drinking can have devastating effects on people at every age, but young people are even more at risk. Children need far less alcohol to have the same effects as adults and those who drink are more likely to engage in risky and violent behaviour.

But there are things you can do if you suspect your child has started drinking.

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It is important to be realistic. Trying to enforce a total alcohol ban is unlikely to be successful and could just encourage your child to be secretive.

If you fear your child may be drinking to excess, talk to them about it and seek professional help from your GP or local support group

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Tips for parents

Be a good role model. Your own habits and attitude to drinking will have a greater impact on your child’s use of alcohol than you.

Teach your child the dangers and effects of alcohol from an early age. Talk about peer pressure and why people drink – the good and bad reasons.

If your child comes home drunk, or has begun to drink to excess, don’t choose that moment to discuss drinking.

Teach your child about sensible drinking – alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and always eating a decent meal before drinking.

Drinking alcohol is closely linked to unprotected and early sex in young people. Make sure your child understands how alcohol impairs people’s judgement and lowers inhibitions.

Talk to your child about the dangers of drink driving and make sure they have planned a safe way of getting home
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You can view or download the information on your kids and alcohol below, which gives you facts and advice on taking the right approach when dealing with kids and alcohol.

Your Kids and Alcohol PDF