Alcohol and young people (2024)

You can be stopped, fined or arrested by police if you’re under 18 and drinking alcohol in public.

If you’re under 18, it’s against the law:

  • for someone to sell you alcohol
  • to buy or try to buy alcohol
  • for an adult to buy or try to buy alcohol for you
  • to drink alcohol in licensed premises (such as a pub or restaurant)

However, if you’re 16 or 17 and accompanied by an adult, you can drink (but not buy) beer, wine or cider with a meal.

If you’re 16 or under, you may be able to go to a pub (or premises primarily used to sell alcohol) if you’re accompanied by an adult. However, this isn’t always the case. It can also depend on the specific conditions for that premises.

It’s illegal to give alcohol to children under 5.

Working in a restaurant or bar under 18

You can serve alcohol in a restaurant if you’re 16 or 17 as long as the licence holder or bar manager has approved the sale.

You may be restricted to selling alcohol in sealed containers (such as cans or bottles) in some areas.

Alcohol and young people (2024)


How does alcohol affect young people? ›

Disruption of normal growth or sexual development. Physical and sexual violence. Increased risk of suicide and homicide. Alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes and other unintentional injuries, such as burns, falls, or drowning.

What age group is most at risk for alcohol? ›

More than half of binge drinks are consumed by adults 35 and older. People with lower incomes and lower levels of education consume more binge drinks per year. Most people younger than 21 who drink alcohol report binge drinking, often consuming large amounts.

What percent of young people drink alcohol? ›

Prevalence of Alcohol Use. According to the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 17.5 million young adults ages 18 to 25 (50.2% in this age group) reported that they drank alcohol in the past month. This includes: 8.5 million males ages 18 to 25 (48.6% in this age group)

Will one night of drinking ruin gains? ›

Light drinking up to 3 US consumptions doesn't seem to affect recovery from even very muscle-damaging exercise at all. At around 4 US consumptions we still see no consistent effects on strength recovery, but we do see the decrease in testosterone.

What happens to your body when you drink alcohol every day? ›

Long-Term Health Risks. Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including: High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems. Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum.

How does drinking alcohol affect your behavior? ›

Drinking alcohol clearly has important effect on social behaviors, such as increasing aggression, self-disclosure, sexual adventuresomeness, and so on. Research has shown that these effects can stem from beliefs we hold about alcohol effects. Less is known about how alcohol itself affects these behaviors.

What are the four types of drinking behaviors? ›

There are four types of drinkers, each with different motivations:
  • Social. These people drink to celebrate. ...
  • Conformity. People drink to fit in, not necessarily because they would normally drink in the situation. ...
  • Enhancement. These people drink because it's exciting. ...
  • Coping. These people drink to forget about their worries.
Jun 2, 2022

Is Gen Z drinking less? ›

A World Finance report shows that Gen Zers drink on average 20 percent less than millennials, who also drink less than older generations. The increased awareness of the dangers and effects of alcohol and the rise of conscious consumption as a lifestyle is the primary driver of this trend.

Who is most likely to get alcoholism? ›

Individuals in their early to mid-twenties are the most likely to abuse alcohol and suffer from alcohol use disorders. The younger that an individual starts consuming alcohol, the more likely they are to develop alcoholism later in life.

Why is Gen Z drinking less alcohol? ›

Finally, Gen Zers who are drinking less alcohol are often doing so because it costs less. Almost a third of young people asked noted that they choose low- and no-alcohol drinks because they are cheaper than the alcoholic versions.

Which four organs are damaged by alcohol? ›

Organs known to be damaged by long-term alcohol misuse include the brain and nervous system, heart, liver and pancreas.

Do millennials drink more alcohol? ›

Nielsen research found that only 53% of Millennials said they consumed alcohol in the last month, compared to 65% of Gen Xers and 72% of Boomers. However, Millennials are more likely to drink liquor than their parents and grandparents did. The Collage Group collected data on the changing alcohol landscape.

Do bodybuilders ever drink alcohol? ›

It's simple: Moderation is the key! (With the first place being abstinence as you already know). 1-2 drinks per day for the general public, is considered moderation. As a bodybuilder looking for the best possible muscle gains, maybe 1 drink per day or even 1 drink per week would meet your goals.

Is beer killing my gains? ›

Even when combined with optimal nutrition intake, alcohol can still prohibit protein synthesis, thus hindering muscle growth and slowing the recovery process. Though it's important to note that some findings have suggested that the more alcohol consumed, the more protein synthesis was suppressed.

Why do bodybuilders drink vodka? ›

Liquor is your lowest-calorie option when it comes to alcohol. A shot of whisky, vodka, or rum will only set you back about 70-100 calories. The problem most people run into is when they order liquor with tons of sugary mixers loaded with tons of empty calories. So just order your drink neat.

Why does alcohol affect young people differently? ›

Young people are at greater risk of alcohol-related harm than adults. As the brain keeps developing into the mid-twenties, drinking alcohol as a teenager can increase the risk of harm to the developing brain. It can also lead to trouble with alcohol later in life.

How does alcohol affect young people differently than adults? ›

During the teenage and early adult years, the brain is still developing, making it more vulnerable to alcohol than the adult brain. Moreover, research indicates that the earlier a person starts drinking, the more likely that person will develop serious problems with alcohol or drug addiction later in life.


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