Facts about alcohol for kids

Updated April 17, 2017

Alcohol has a number of effects on the human body that can make routine tasks seem difficult. After you drink, it is especially dangerous to drive a car, as drinking and driving leads to a high number of fatal accidents. Alcohol use can also negatively affect your education. The minimum legal drinking age in the United Kingdom is 18. If you are younger than this or concerned about a minor, be sure to open a discussion about alcohol use.

How Alcohol Effects You

According to, alcohol acts as a depressant, meaning it slows the activity of the brain. The way alcohol interacts with the brain may cause the drinker to act confused and prevent her from seeing and thinking normally. People who drink can have mood swings, and their sense of balance may be thrown off due to alcohol consumption.

Alcohol and the Law

In the United Kingdom, the minimum age to purchase alcohol is 18. This is also the minimum age to publicly possess an alcoholic beverage. If you are in a private establishment, need alcohol for medical purposes, use it for religious reasons or possess it in the course of lawful employment.

Dangers of Drinking and Driving

Consuming alcohol and getting behind the wheel is a deadly combination, especially for teenagers who are new to driving. According to the Health Services, teens are involved in 14 per cent of motor vehicle deaths, even though they make up only 10 per cent of the population. Due to their inexperience behind the wheel, they are more likely to make a dangerous mistake.

Alcohol and Your Education

Drinking alcohol also encourages poor academic performance. Secondary school students who consume alcohol are more than five times more likely to drop out of school than students who do not use the substance.

Alcohol and Sexual Behavior

Underage alcohol use may also give rise to dangerous sexual behaviours. Since drinking lowers inhibitions, young individuals may be more prone to engage in unprotected sexual intercourse. This can lead to unplanned pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.

Alcohol Addiction

Drinking at a young age can also lead to alcohol addiction, a chronic problem that's treated as a medical issue. According to the Health Services, up to 5.8 per cent of young adults aged 12 to 17 sought treatment for a problem with alcohol use. Those who begin drinking in their teens have a much higher chance of developing a lifelong problem with alcohol use.

Establish a Dialogue

If you have questions about alcohol and its effects, ask an adult or a loved one. If you are an adult who is concerned about your child and drinking, be sure to establish a dialogue. Talking to your child about alcohol will help them know the risks and avoid the perils of drinking when the first encounter alcoholic beverages.

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About the Author

James Mulcahy is a New York City-based licensed massage therapist with more than 1,500 hours of training in anatomy, myology and pathology. He currently works as a freelance writer and has contributed to Huffington Post, New York Press, British Airway’s High Life, Metromix and many other publications.