Parenting Teens - Alcohol Facts
Parenting Teens - Alcohol Facts
Alcohol is our most common recreational drug. Not drinking is the safest option for young people under 18 years of age.
Key points about alcohol and teens
Not drinking is the safest option for young people under 18.
- not drinking is the safest option for young people under 18
- it is best not to supply alcohol to young people under 18
- alcohol contributes to more young people dying than any other drug
- alcohol is involved in around 1 out of every 3 crimes committed in New Zealand each year
- no alcohol during pregnancy and breastfeeding is the safest choice
How much do New Zealanders drink?
Many New Zealanders drink regularly
8 out of 10 New Zealanders aged 12- 65 years reported drinking alcohol within the past year and around 1.4 million people drank at least once a week1.
New Zealanders spend approximately $85 million per week on retail alcohol sales2.
Many young people drink large amounts when they drink
About half of the drinkers under 25 years of age drink large quantities when they drink, as do about a quarter of all adult drinkers3.
1 out of 3 students reported binge drinking (5 or more standard drinks in a 4 hour period) in the past month4.
Alcohol is a common factor in crimes, assaults, child abuse and accidents
Alcohol is involved in around 1 out of every 3 crimes committed in New Zealand each year5.it is also a common factor in violent and sexual assaults (including family violence), child abuse and neglect, and road crashes and other machinery accidents.
Alcohol contributes to more young people dying than any other drug.
Alcohol contributes to more young people dying than any other drug - between 2005 and 2007, alcohol contributed to the deaths of 1 in 4 children and young people6.
There are health risks associated with drinking alcohol
Alcohol is now recognised as a carcinogen (cancer-causing) and is proven to raise the risk of breast cancer, and mouth, throat, digestive system and liver cancer.
No alcohol during pregnancy and breastfeeding is the safest choice.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, as well as harm to your baby causing a range of lifelong effects. This range of effects is called fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or FASD for short. The effects can include premature birth, brain damage and physical birth defects. The effects continue after the baby is born and can include developmental delay, learning disabilities, and social, emotional and behavioural problems (see Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: Prevention). No alcohol during pregnancy and breastfeeding is the safest choice.
Pure alcohol contains 7 calories per gram or approximately 70 calories per 10 ml of pure alcohol (one standard drink measure).
There is no way to increase the rate at which your body gets rid of alcohol
Drinking coffee, cold showers, drinking more alcohol, sleeping or fresh air do not sober you up - there is NO way to increase the rate at which your body gets rid of alcohol.
See more KidsHealth content on parenting teens
Check out KidsHealth's section on parenting teens
This page last reviewed 24 February 2021.
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