Teenagers have so much to deal with and many choices to make:
- Surviving Acne
- Surviving Puberty
- Drinking Responsibly
- Exam Pressure
For lots of help and advice, visit these dedicated pages setup by the NHS:
Teen Boys Health: http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/teenboys/Pages/Teenboyshome.aspx
Teen Girls Health: http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/teengirls/Pages/teengirlshome.aspx
The Student Development Team & School Nurse are there to help of you need it, and will be able to point you in the right direction. To get in contact, use the reporting form.
Often, people make light about their first experiences with alcohol. However, if children drink underage there can be a very heavy price to pay – both physically and emotionally.
Alcohol and the law
Buying alcohol for yourself It is illegal for licensed premises to sell alcohol to someone under 18. It is illegal to sell alcohol to a person who is drunk.
No ID no sale Even if you are over 18 and you don’t have ID, shopkeepers and licensed premises can refuse to serve you if you look younger.
Buying alcohol for someone else Police have the power to charge someone over 18 knowingly buying alcohol for someone under 18 (buying by proxy). It is illegal to obtain alcohol for a person who is drunk.
Drinking and driving It’s against the law for an adult to drive with more than 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of their blood. If they break the law, they could face a fine of £5,000, six months in prison and having their licence taken away for at least a year. Causing death through drink-driving can result in a maximum prison sentence of 14 years and a two-year driving ban.
Alcohol restriction zones It is an arrestable offence to fail to comply with a police officer’s request not to drink alcohol in a designated Alcohol Restricted Area. The police also have the power to take away and dispose of any alcohol and containers in the persons possession.
Underage drinking in public places Police have the powers to confiscate alcohol from under 18s drinking in public spaces (e.g. on the street or in parks).
Consuming alcohol in licensed premises If you are under 18, it is against the law to consume alcohol in a licensed premise, with the exception of 16 and 17 year olds, who are allowed to drink beer, wine or cider during a meal with adults (but they may not buy the alcohol themselves).
Effects of Underage Drinking
Alcohol has harmful effects on developing brains and bodies.
Alcohol is implicated in more than a third of teenage driver fatalities resulting from car accidents and about two-fifths of drownings.
Drinking interferes with good judgement, leading young people into risky behaviour and making them vulnerable to sexual abuse.
Teenagers who use alcohol and tobacco are at greater risk of using other drugs.
Teenagers who drink are more likely to develop behavioural problems, including stealing, fighting, and skipping school.
Almost everyone knows that smoking causes cancer, emphysema, and heart disease; that it can shorten your life by 10 years or more; and that the habit can cost a smoker thousands of pounds a year. So how come people are still lighting up? The answer, in a word, is addiction.
Smoking is a hard habit to break because tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. Like heroin or other addictive drugs, the body and mind quickly become so used to the nicotine in cigarettes that a person needs to have it just to feel normal.
For help quitting, visit Quit With Help.
With good mental health, children and young people do better in every way. They are happier in their families, are able to learn better, do better at school, and enjoy friendships and new experiences.
Childhood and teenage years are when your mental health is developed and patterns are set for the future. So good mental health now is much more likely to lead to good mental health as an adult, and to be able to take on adult responsibilities and fulfill your potential.
For more information on looking after your mental health, visit YoungMinds. If you have a concern about your mental health, or the mental health of a friend, please contact the Student Development Team via the reporting page.