Letting teens drink at home can lead to addiction

Letting teens drink at home can lead to addiction

  • November 2018
  • Posted By James Lawson

Parents should not buy alcohol for teenagers or let them drink at home, according to a prominent addiction expert. Eamon Keenan, the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) national clinical lead on addiction, made the comment at the launch of the agency’s guide for parents on drugs and alcohol. He said although it might seem sensible to allow teenagers to drink alcohol at home, the idea is misguided because it confirms that underage drinking is OK.

He added that once teens feel their parents have given them permission to drink, they are more likely to consume alcohol outside the home. There is a strong correlation between teen drug and alcohol use and addiction when they become adults. The findings of a six-year study of 1,900 Australian teenagers, published in January, showed that teens who received alcohol from their parents were twice as likely to drink heavily later in life than those who did not.

Keenan also said that teenagers who used drugs and alcohol could impact their brain development, as the brain is not fully developed until people reach at least their mid-20s. He said that underage drinking can result in poor academic performance, antisocial behaviour, accidents, injuries, and even self-harm. In the long-run, it can result in problems with mental health, as well as addiction.

The HSE encourages parents to discuss the effects of drugs and alcohol with their teenagers and to be good role models.


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