Should I allow my teenager to drink alcohol? The safest option for teens is to delay drinking for as long as possible, or not drink at all. Alcohol can interfere with healthy brain development, which is still underway until at least age 25. In addition, the earlier teens start drinking, the more likely they are to do badly at school, drink heavily in their late teens, and try other drugs. Starting to drink alcohol early in adolescence has also been linked to mental health issues into adulthood, including alcohol use disorder. Parents can support this message and help delay teen alcohol use in a number of ways: Spending time with your teen and being actively involved in their life Setting clear rules and expectations about alcohol use Maintaining open communication about alcohol and other drugs Adapting your own alcohol use to model appropriate behaviour. You can read more about these strategies in our factsheet here. You can also read our tips to ensure your teenager stays safe when attending a party.