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You and other teens may drink alcohol for many reasons. You may want to:
Teens also drink alcohol in order to get drunk. Most teens in Alberta say that when they drink, they binge drink (this means 5 or more drinks on one occasion). Binge drinking is an issue because when teens drink alcohol, they are more likely to be hurt or hurt others, and more likely to develop a dependence on alcohol later in their life.
Alcohol can change how well you make decisions, how well you think, and how quickly you can react. It can make it hard for you to control yourself. Alcohol use can:
Alcohol use also can change how you feel about your life. It can lead to depression or other mental health issues.
If someone offers you a drink, here are some ways to say "no."
Don't drink alcohol until your later teen years, and obey local liquor laws. Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines (LRDG) recommend that if you are below legal drinking age, you:
Maybe you've wondered about your alcohol use, or how to tell if your drinking is becoming a problem.
Your alcohol use may be a problem if you have two or more of the following signs:
Problems with alcohol use can range from mild to severe. The more signs you have, the more severe the disorder may be. Moderate to severe alcohol use disorder is sometimes called addiction.
You might not realize that your drinking is a problem. You might not drink large amounts when you drink. Or you might go for days or weeks between drinking episodes. But even if you don't drink very often, your drinking could still be harmful and put you at risk.
If you think you need help:
Call: Addiction Helpline: 1-866-332-2322 Mental Health Helpline: 1-877-303-2642 Both helplines are free, confidential and available 24 hours a day.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter Y230 in the search box to learn more about "Learning About Alcohol Use in Teens".
Adaptation Date: 3/22/2021
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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