Taking action

Alcohol and young people

Younger people are particularly vulnerable to alcohol related harms. Parents, policymakers, schools and communities can all act to protect younger people from alcohol related harms.

Mother and daughter smiling


Know the facts about alcohol in adolescence. Explain why you don’t want your kids under 18-years drinking. Talk to your kids about boundaries, expectations, and consequences.

Don’t give alcohol to your children. Secondary supply laws make it illegal for anyone else to supply your child with alcohol without your permission.

Communicate and share information with other parents to create a community culture that does not support adolescent drinking.

Role model positive behaviour around alcohol, with actions like:

  • showing you don’t need a drink to have fun or relax
  • turning down a drink
  • holding celebrations without alcohol
  • drinking within the Australian guidelines.1

If you’re worried a young person is struggling with alcohol, contact one of the services listed below for help.


Only use evidence-based alcohol and other drug education in classrooms.2

Adopt current best practice recommendations about taking a whole-of-school approach to creating a positive, healthy, and engaging space for young people.3


Consider how to share this information with as many parents and other influencers as possible, such as through mass media campaigns or workshops.

Consider how your community can have a say in liquor licensing decisions so we reduce the availability of alcohol to adolescents.

Make supervised extra-curricular activities, such as sport and art, more available to young people.

Health workers

Talk to your clients about how much they’re drinking, drinking within the Australian guidelines,1 and the importance of role modelling to children.

Policy makers

Assist the community in having meaningful influence and control over the density of alcohol outlets, and the type of alcohol outlets, that are licenced in their community.
Support the delivery of evidence-based education in schools.2

Help and support

  • DrugInfo If you want to talk about alcohol and adolescents, this free information line can assist. 1300 85 85 84
  • YoDAA Victoria’s Youth Drug and Alcohol Advice service provides support and information for parents, young people, schools and workers who are concerned about a young person. 1800 458 685
  • Kids Helpline Provides information and counselling for young people aged 5–25-years. 1800 551 800
  • Lifeline Provides emergency support for suicide prevention. 13 11 14
  • Headspace Provides mental health and wellness online, and phone support and programs through centres. 03 9027 0100
  • YSAS The Victorian-based Youth Support and Advocacy Service, provides acute treatment services and support. 03 9415 8881
  1. The National Health and Medical Research council guidelines for alcohol consumption recommend that not drinking under 18 years is the safest option. For adults, not consuming more than two standard drinks per day or more than four standard drinks on any occasion is recommended.
  2. Evidence-based school education resources can be accessed at Positive Choices
  3. Read more about what a whole-of-school approach is and how to adopt one at dovetail