My parents drink

In South Africa the law says you should only drink if you are 18 years and older. This is because a young person’s body and brain cannot cope with alcohol in the same way as an adult’s can.

Alcohol affects your brain.

A young person’s brain is still growing. When your brain is still growing alcohol does a lot more damage than when you're all grown-up.

Alcohol affects your body.

Alcohol can damage every organ in your body. If you start drinking young you risk damaging your organs such as the liver, heart, and brain.

Alcohol puts your health at risk.

Adolescents who drink are more likely to have unsafe, unprotected sex. Girls have more risk than boys; especially if it causes you to become pregnant or get a sexually transmitted disease. When you get drunk, you can also risk hurting yourself: it’s easier to have a car accident, drown, fall or just hurt yourself.

Alcohol use is very risky business for young people. And the longer adolescents and young people can delay alcohol use, the less likely they are to develop any problems associated with it. Alcohol is also very addictive and addiction has no cure. That’s why it is so important that adults help adolescents and young people to avoid any alcohol use.

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