Parents & Young People

There can be a difference in the behaviour and side effects seen in young people when they drink alcohol because their brains are still developing which can result in negative effects in the short and long-term. 

In March 2009, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released the Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol. The 2009 Guidelines focus on health risks accumulating over a lifetime from alcohol use. Guidelines 3A and 3B provide guidelines for reducing risk to those under 18-years-of-age.

GUIDELINE 3: Children and young people under 18 years of age

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

A. Parents and carers should be advised that children under 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

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


In this section:

What Parents Need to Know

Young People & Alcohol Laws

Your Child & End of School Celebrations

What Young People Need to Know

Alcohol & Young People

Alcohol & the Developing Brain