Should I drink?

Did you know?
Alcohol is responsible for a very high proportion of hospitalisations in teens and young people

Choosing not to drink

Deciding not to drink until you're at least 18 is one of the best decisions you can make for your health and wellbeing, now and into the future.

And you won't be the only one. Around one in 10 Victorians don't drink alcohol until they're at least 18, and some never do.

But of course, your decision is just the first step. You need to think about how you're going to stick to your guns, and let your friends know about your decision and your reasons for it.

Talking about your decision

  • Have a look at what the research says about how many young people do drink, and how many drink at risky levels - see the who drinks section.
  • Remind yourself why you've made your choice. Have a look at the What's the harm section of this site for backup.
  • Tell your parents about what you've decided, and why.
  • Let your friends know that you won't be drinking and why. Be clear that they need to make up their own minds, too.
  • Think about how you are going to deal with other people's drinking. Decide what you'll do if you find yourself in a situation where other people are drunk.
  • Discuss how you might respond to someone who offers you alcohol - and remember, some of them will be persistent. They'll want you to make the same choice that they've made. It's up to you to let them know that your choice is your own.

Staying safe

If you choose not to drink, and your friends are drinking, you may find yourself taking care of them more than you want to.

You need to let your friends know what you're willing to do when they're drinking - drive them around? clean up after them? get them home safely? even break up fights?