Young people’s bodies continue to develop during adolescence, making them vulnerable to the effects of alcohol. Drinking at an early age may interfere with the normal development of the brain (2). It can also affect the development of vital organs. This can cause health problems later in life.
Scientific studies have shown that drinking at an early age, especially heavy drinking, can have an irreversible effect on the brain that may lead to lasting changes and damage (3-5). It can disrupt how brain connections are made and may also disrupt learning ability and memory.
Early drinking can lead to psychological problems and may increase the odds of alcohol abuse later in life (6). The earlier young people begin to drink regularly and heavily, the more likely this becomes.