It is not legal for a young person to drink alcohol until they are 18, however there can be a lot of pressure from their peers to start drinking at an earlier age. Alcohol can have a significant impact on how the brain develops during the teenage years, as well as other negative impacts on internal organs. If you think your child is starting to become reliant on alcohol then we recommend you talk to a health professional or one of our youth workers, as it may continue to have a negative impact on the rest of their life. Remember, as a parent or carer, you are a role model for your child.
Use of any illicit drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, speed, heroin etc. is illegal, no matter what your age. Many teenagers experiment with some form of drug use and can put pressure on each other to do the same. Any form of drug use will have a significant impact on brain development as well as impacting on other areas of their health. It can also lead to long term mental health issues. If someone is caught in possession of drugs by the police, they could end up in court, even in jail, and potentially have a criminal record that could impact on any future employment prospects and limit the places in the world they are allowed to travel to. If you are concerned about your teen’s drug use or that of a friend, contact one of our youth workers who can help you find the right support.