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Home > Alcohol use among teens allowed to drink at home (Growing Up in Australia snapshot series - issue 2).

Quinn, Brendan (2021) Alcohol use among teens allowed to drink at home (Growing Up in Australia snapshot series - issue 2). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

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Although more young Australians are delaying their first alcoholic drink, many still begin drinking before 18. In addition to experiencing negative drinking-related outcomes such as injuries and mental ill-health, early alcohol use can lead to harmful drinking practices and alcohol use disorders later in life. Adolescent alcohol consumption can also adversely affect brain development. Identifying modifiable factors associated with adolescent alcohol use, such as parenting practices, is important for preventing alcohol-related harms among young people.Prior to 2009, in Australia, official advice suggested that alcohol use was a ‘normal’ part of adolescent development, and that supervised alcohol consumption could reduce potential harm. Therefore, parents may choose to allow their underage teens to drink at home to help young people learn responsible drinking practices. However, with mounting evidence about the numerous risks of underage alcohol use, current National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines1 suggest delaying alcohol use until at least the age of 18.

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