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Chief Medical Officer guidance

For more information about the Chief Medical Officer guidance and talking to young people about alcohol please visit:

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Telford and Wrekin Young People Substance Misuse Service for those under the age of 18 years with a drug or alcohol problem.

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Young People and Alcohol

In Telford and Wrekin, 26% of boys and 21% of girls aged 11 to 15 years report drinking at least one alcoholic drink a week. This is significantly higher than the national average of 22%.

It is also reported that a third of young men and a quarter of young women aged 18 to 24 years are exceeding safe limits for weekly alcohol consumption.

Guidance for Young People and Parents

There have been safe and sensible drinking guidelines for adults for many years. However it wasn’t until 2009 that the Chief Medical Officer issued guidelines on alcohol for under 18s and their parents.

Sensible drinking - guidance from England's Chief Medical Officer

Parents and carers are advised that an alcohol-free childhood is the healthiest and best option.

However, if young people do drink alcohol, the CMO has issued the following guidance:

  • young people should not drink at all until they are at least 15 years old

  • if young people aged 15 to 17 years drink alcohol, it should always be under the supervision of a parent or carer

  • if 15 to 17 year olds do drink it should not be often – certainly no more than one day a week

  • 15 to 17 year olds should never drink more than the recommended daily limit for adults

Encouraging a healthy attitude towards alcohol

As children grow up, their attitude towards alcohol will be shaped by what they see, hear and experience at home. The following tips might help your child develop a healthy attitude to alcohol:

  • if your child is curious about alcohol, talk to them about it - tell them about both the negative and social sides of drinking

  • make sure children don't drink alcohol by accident or without your permission - if you have alcohol at home, keep it out of reach

  • if you drink, set a good example and drink in moderation - it will help your child develop a sensible attitude to alcohol

  • respect the law regarding young people and alcohol

This page was printed from Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust Web site at