Young People

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The effects of alcohol on teenagers are not the same as they are on adults. It is true that alcohol can cause health risks and reckless behaviour in all age groups, but it is even more dangerous for young people.

For a start, as a young person your body is still developing and so is your brain which continues to develop until the age of 20- 25. Alcohol can SEVERLY interfere with that development causing permanent long-term damage. For example:

  • Memory loss and learning difficulties
  • Sexual and mental health problems
  • Liver cirrhosis and heart disease

It is easy to think ‘it won’t happen to me’ or ‘I’ll worry about it if it happens’. Sadly though, there has been a sharp increase in the number of people in their twenties dying from liver disease as a result of drinking heavily in their teenage years.

Alcohol makes us feel invincible but this can end up in tragedy. Research by Alcohol Concern shows that five percent of deaths in young people can be attributed to alcohol.

Young people who drink are also more likely to be involved in an accident and end up in hospital. During 2011, the NHS reports that injuries as a result of teenage drinking are at the highest level in the UK and are far greater than other European countries.

Over 1000 young people under the age of 15 are admitted to hospital each year with acute alcohol poisoning. All need emergency treatment and some die.