RSA is more than just a certificate, it also involves an understanding of how alcohol affects people. In particular, young people.
There are many good reasons for teenagers not to drink alcohol before turning 18. Early drinking is related to increased alcohol consumption in adolescence and young adulthood. These drinking patterns are also related to the possibility of damage to the developing brain and development of alcohol-related harms in adulthood.
The risk of accidents, injuries, violence and self-harm are high among drinkers aged below18. Young people who drink are more prone to risky and antisocial behaviour than older drinkers.
What does the National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines recommend?
- Children under 15 years of age are at the greatest risk of harm from drinking
- Not drinking in this age group – under 15 years – is especially important
- For young people aged 15 to 17 years, the safest option is to delay drinking for as long as possible
The health risks that accumulate over a lifetime from alcohol increase progressively – this means that the earlier young people drink, the greater the risk.
Understanding the dangers of young people drinking alcohol is a key component of delivering responsible service of alcohol.