Children introduced to alcohol to teach responsible drinking run higher risk of addictions: European report

Children introduced to alcohol to teach responsible drinkingrun higher risk of addictions: European report

National Post

David Rockne Corrigan | 13/05/07 | Last Updated: 13/05/07 11:19 AM ET
EU report on childhood and adolescence says that parents who give young
children alcohol in an attempt to teach them about responsible drinking
may be doing more harm than good. Psychologist Dr. Aric Sigman,
who wrote the report, says alcohol consumption may have long-lasting
effects on the adolescent brain, even in small amounts. Parents, he
says, are wrong to assume otherwise. Research shows that people
who have their first drink under the age of 18 run a higher risk of
becoming dependent on alcohol as an adult. The earlier a child is
introduced to alcohol, the greater the risk. Sigman
says that in an ideal world, no one would be drinking before age 25,
but he thinks that 16 is likely a more realistic age for children to
have their first taste of alcohol at home. Sigman is calling for the legal drinking age to be harmonized at 18 across Europe.
warnings in the report come as liver disease rates in England are
increasing at an alarming rate. In the last decade, the number of people
under 30 being admitted to British hospitals with alcohol-related liver
damage has doubled.

Health Canada estimates that four to five
million Canadians engage in high risk drinking, which is linked to
motor vehicle accidents, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and other
health issues, family problems, crime and violence. In 2011, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse released Canada's Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines, which recommend that children should delay drinking until their late teens. Health
Canada estimates that if every Canadian were to follow the guidelines,
alcohol-related deaths would decrease by almost 5,000 per year.

To read the article in full please follow the link: