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Alcohol - information for parents

The majority of teenagers don’t drink alcohol. For those that do, reasons may include:

  • family example
  • thinking that most teenagers drink alcohol (research shows they actually don’t)
  • peer pressure
  • fitting in
  • drinking culture
  • alcohol advertising
  • having few interests.

How much is too much for young people?

Guideline 3 of the Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol advises that:  

For children and young people less than 18 years of age, not drinking alcohol is the safest option.

Parents and carers should be advised that children less than 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.

For young people aged 15 to 17 years, the safest option is to delay the initiation of drinking for as long as possible.

Resources for parents

Often, parents can be a major influence in helping their child to make good decisions regarding alcohol.

The risks of drinking alcohol page outlines the harms related to drinking too much alcohol in a single occasion and also over a lifetime.

The Australian Drug Foundation and Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development have developed some fact sheets to explain how you can influence your child’s choices about drinking alcohol and how you can talk to your child about alcohol.

The Australian Drug Foundation's Talking with your teenager about alcohol fact sheet is a good source of information to help parents discuss the risks associated with drinking alcohol with their children.  

The Alcohol and young people (PDF 126KB) wallet card provides facts about alcohol, tips for young people who choose to drink, and explains what can happen when alcohol and drugs are mixed and what to do in an emergency.

Visit the Young people and alcohol section for information regarding parties where alcohol will be available, your legal obligations and also tips parents can pass onto their child for safer end-of-year celebrations (Schoolies).

SA Health's Safer celebrations: Plan a safer party (PDF 56.8KB) fact sheet contains information about planning safer parties.

Helpline information

Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) - 1300 13 1340
Confidential telephone counselling, information and referral available between 8.30am and 10pm every day.

Parent Helpline - 1300 364 100
A telephone information service for parents in South Australia.
 

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