Delay use of alcohol

Early introduction to drinking (before the age of 15) is associated with a number of alcohol-related problems later in life (see box on Alcohol-related risks in adolescence).

The longer your adolescent delays alcohol use, the less likely they are to develop problems associated with alcohol. You should therefore aim to keep your adolescent child from experimenting with alcohol for as long as possible. To do this, do not give them any alcohol while they are under the age of 15, and delay their first alcoholic drink for as long as possible.

You can teach your adolescent about responsible drinking without necessarily allowing them to drink. If they express an interest in trying alcohol when they are over the age of 15, explain to them why it is best to wait until they are older to start drinking.