- Alcohol can make you more vulnerable, not stronger.
Adolescence can be tough, as young people navigate new experiences and stresses for the first time. Adding alcohol to situations where there is no pre-existing “road map” can leave the young people in your life – and yourself – vulnerable to risky behaviour or exploitation, and delay the development of vital coping skills.
- Alcohol and lifetime patterns
Behaviour patterns that can last a lifetime are established during adolescence. People who drink heavily as adults generally formed their drinking patterns in their teens – the earlier we start to drink, the greater the risk of harmful drinking later in life.
- Alcohol causes problems, doesn’t solve them
Teen drinking causes immediate problems, including decreased academic and sporting performance, a lack of energy, problems sleeping, skin breakouts and weight gain.
- Alcohol is harder on girls
Alcohol use causes particular harm to teenage girls and young women, who process alcohol at a slower rate than boys and young men. As a result, it takes less alcohol to cause the same levels of damage to girls and young women, both in the short and long term.
- Alcohol can block maturity, not speed it up
The legal drinking age is 18 because in our teens we’re not physically or mentally ready to cope with the harm that alcohol can do. Far from being a rite of passage, drinking may delay the development of vital coping, personal and social skills.
You know the damage that alcohol can cause to mental health. It weakens coping skills; lessens concentration; it causes sadness, isolation and hopelessness.