Should I drink?
Did you know?
One in four young people have had their first drink before their 15th birthday
Choosing to drink
Having read all the information in the other sections, you may still decide to drink alcohol. If you've made that decision, the next thing you need to do is have a think about how you're going to stay safe and in control when you're drinking.
- Remember that bigger amounts of alcohol have bigger impacts on the body. The medical risks related to small amounts are far lower than those associated with drinking large amounts, bingeing or drinking to get drunk.
- Try to keep track of how much you've drunk, and manage your drinking - for example, by alternating alcohol with water or other non-alcoholic drinks, and by eating before drinking.
- It's a good idea for someone in your group not to drink, so that they can keep an eye on how much people are drinking, encourage and help them to stay safe, and intervene if trouble arises.
- Have a firm plan about how you'll get home. You might decide to use transport, taxis, designated drivers or call home for a lift - but make sure that you've got the cash or phone credit to act on your plan, and be clear that driving drunk, or riding with a drunk driver is entirely out of bounds.
- Talk to your friends about keeping each other safe.
- Let someone you trust (your parents, if you can) know who you're going out with, exactly where you're going, and when you'll be home.