Alcohol & Youth

Alcohol is the drug most often used by students in grades 7 to 12. It acts as a depressant or downer. Children and youth are more likely to be harmed by drinking alcohol. 

Effects of alcohol on youth

Some of the effects alcohol has on youth include:

  • Dependency on alcohol later in life. Children and youth who drink alcohol at an early age are more likely to have trouble with alcohol later on.
  • Harm to normal brain development, memory loss or cognitive thinking or understanding. Alcohol is linked to depression, anxiety and mood disorders.
  • Poor decisions and risky behaviours such as driving a car after drinking alcohol, driving with someone who has been drinking alcohol, taking risks with sex or binge drinking (drinking five or more drinks at one time).
  • Violent and aggressive behaviour, which leads to social problems and/or sexual or physical violence.

Parties and youth

Tips for hosting a party in your home when youth are in attendance include:

  • Make sure that party information is not posted on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites.
  • Set a guest list with your child.
  • Have a start and end time for the party.
  • Tell everyone who is invited and/or attends the party that no alcohol is allowed.
  • You should stay at the house during the party.
  • Tell people when they arrive which parts of the house are off limits.
  • Do not allow children and youth to come and go from the party.
  • Make sure that alcohol or medication in your home is not accessible to guests.
  • Have other activities like videos, games or karaoke at the party.

Here are some tips when your child attends a party at someone else’s home:

  • Know where your child is going; get the name, address and phone number of the party location or host.
  • Talk to your child about what to do if alcohol is available.
  • Ask your child to be part of a buddy system with a friend.
  • Make sure your child knows to call home for a ride under any circumstance, even if he or she drinks alcohol.
  • Set a time your child needs to come home.
  • Stay awake until your child gets home.
  • Talk about the rules if your child plans to sleep away from home.

More information

Find more information on preventing your teenager from using alcohol.

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