DoH says under-15s should not drink alcohol

Young people should not drink any alcohol until they are 15 and after that only in a supervised environment, new DoH guidance says.

Sir Liam said that DoH guidance on alcohol fills a 'vacuum' for recommendations on alcohol for young people
Sir Liam said that DoH guidance on alcohol fills a 'vacuum' for recommendations on alcohol for young people

England's chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson, who has written the guidance, said there was no evidence that introducing children to alcohol at an early age reduced problems in later life.

Children and their parents should be advised that an alcohol-free childhood is the healthiest and best option, he said.

However, if children drink alcohol, it should not be until at least the age of 15.

If young people aged 15 to 17 do consume alcohol, it should always he with the guidance of a parent or carer or in a supervised environment, he said.

Sir Liam also stressed 'the important role' GPs play in delivering brief interventions. Evidence shows that such work can help a great deal in helping adults who have alcohol problems, he said.

He said the new guidance would fill a 'vacuum' for recommendations on alcohol for children and young people. 'Too often childhood is robbed of its clear-eyed innocence and replaced by a befuddled futility that comes with the regular consumption of dirt cheap alcohol,' he said. 'So we're trying to do something about this and to fill that vacuum and that is what this guidance is about.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GP surgery sign

Risks of being a partner have outstripped benefits, GPs told

The risks of being a partner have become greater that the benefits, the RCGP conference...

Image of Dr Farzana Hussain

GPs urged to use their voices to improve the lives of patients in deprived areas

The can-do attitude and independence of GPs offers a unique opportunity to help reverse...

Professor Sir Michael Marmot

Unequal impact of COVID-19 'utterly predictable' amid rising inequality, says Marmot

The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people in the most deprived parts of England...

Consulting room door

NHS on course for shortfall of 11,000 GPs within a decade

One in four GP and practice nurse posts will be vacant within a decade without a...

Dr Iona Heath

Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic can help GPs tackle health inequalities

GPs can use evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic to put pressure on the government...

Dr Iona Health and Dr Oge Ilozue at the RCGP conference

GPs need extra resources to deal with workload impact of long COVID

GP practices will need additional resources to deal with long COVID as it starts...