Letting children drink alcohol occasionally can lead to addiction: Research
Parents who think they can teach their child to drink responsibly are making a wrong choice, because young people consuming alcohol increases their risk of an alcohol addiction, according to researchers at the Trimbos Institute. It also has a harmful effect on the development of their brains, the addiction center said.
A new NIX18 campaign discouraging the use of alcohol by children was launched earlier this week. It draws attention to the harmful effects of alcohol use among young people. NIX18 is an initiative from the Ministry of Health, the GGD, the Trimbos Institute, and others.
The campaign was launched because some of the parents still think that they help their children to learn to deal with alcohol responsibly by letting them drink from time to time, according to the latter organization.
In reality, it has the opposite effect, said the Trimbos alcohol program head, Ninette van Hasselt. "Children have a kind of natural threshold for these kinds of exciting things, which protects them against this. If you remove that threshold as a parent, you give children the space to drink more often and more frequently."
Moreover, the adolescent brain is especially sensitive to harmful substances, such as alcohol, she said.
Reporting by ANP