Typically, adolescents and young adults drink more alcohol in an occasion than other age groups.

In the 2012 national health survey, 43% of secondary school drinkers reported a typical consumption of 5 or more drinks in a drinking occasion. Almost half (49.7%) of all current drinkers reported consuming this amount at least once in the previous month. The prevalence of these risky drinking patterns increases with age [27].

The young body and brain of an adolescent places them at increased risk of alcohol-related harm [28,29]. Those aged under 15 years are at particularly high risk, with the rates of harm remaining somewhat elevated among drinkers aged 15−17 years [30]. It is very important that the short-term and long-term harms from adolescent alcohol use are prevented. Therefore, it is essential that if alcohol is consumed by young people, it is undertaken in a supervised environment and alcohol is provided responsibly.

Click here for a factsheet on the harms from drinking in adolescence

Click here for a factsheet on trends in adolescent drinking in New Zealand

Click here for a factsheet on the role of alcohol availability in adolescent drinking