Generation Next Blog
Tips to give teenagers on low risk drinking
90% of students have tried alcohol by the age of 14*
With schoolies week fast approaching and the planning of wild parties to celebrate the end of exams well underway, it is a good time for parents and carers to remind young people about low risk drinking. It is important for young people to always feel that they are in control and not feel pressured into drinking alcohol or let themselves get into a situation they are uncomfortable with or fear they cannot get out of.
Here are some tips to give teenagers for low risk drinking:
1. Some young people might not feel comfortable or open if you try to talk to them about responsible drinking habits, but start off by reassuring them that you are there for them and are happy to support them.
2. Make sure your teenager knows how much alcohol is in a standard drink and what the recommended intake of that standard drink is – so they know how much they can responsibly drink and when to stop.
3. When they are at a party or out for the night encourage them to keep count of the number of standards drinks they consume. Don’t let people top up their glass otherwise they might lose track of how much they have had to drink.
4. Try not to let them go out on an empty stomach, let them know it is also a good idea to eat while drinking as this slows down the absorption of alcohol into the blood stream.
5. Let them know it is not a good idea to drink to get drunk. It is OK to drink non alcoholic drinks throughout the night with the occasional alcoholic drink interspersed.
6. If they are with a friend who has passed out and has been drinking all night and whose behaviour is out of control, they should contact a responsible adult and wait with the person until someone arrives.
7. Talk to them about not getting drawn into drinking games or competitions and tell them not to feel pressured into trying to keep up with their friends drinking habits or being in a group where they all ‘shout’ each other a drink one after the other.
8. Try to drink slowly and make it part of another activity like, cards, snooker or party games rather than the main activity.
How much should young people drink?
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) have developed the Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol. The guidelines recommend:
- Don’t drink more than four standard drinks at any one session.
- As children’s brains are still developing it is advised that children under 15 years of age should not drink alcohol.
- For young people aged 15−17 years, the safest option is to delay the initiation of drinking for as long as possible.
- For women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option.
- For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking is the safest option.
For more information on the Australian Guidelines visit – Alcohol guidelines: reducing the health risks.
A new website has also just been launched called Be the influence. This site is gives lots of information about the dangers and consequences of binge drinking.
*National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)