Parents are being offered tips on dealing with under-age drinkers ahead of the festive party scene.
Denise Knowles, family counsellor at Relate, said: “Underage drinking can have a huge impact on teenagers’ lives. Not only are young people who drink regularly at risk of liver damage but alcohol can also affect their mental health, sexual behaviour and achievement in the classroom.
“Lots of parents have concerns about their teenagers and alcohol but find it difficult to communicate effectively, which can put the relationship under strain. The truth is it’s never too early or too late to have an open conversation about drinking and to lay down some ground rules.”
A top ten list of tips on handling the sensitive issue has been released as part of the current Alcohol Awareness Week.
They include talking honestly with teenagers about the risks associated with alcohol, explaining the reasons why their drinking upsets you after they have sobered up and getting professional help if you think they have an addiction.