Starting drinking as a young person can result in a greater risk of developing long-term health conditions in later life. Young bodies are still growing, and alcohol can harm their development. Regular drinking can lead to cancer, liver disease, heart disorders and impotence in later life.
Deaths from liver disease have risen sharply in the 25-34 age group over the last 10 years. This is thought to be a consequence of increased drinking starting at an earlier age.(11) Underage drinking can cause problems with mental development too, with heavy drinking in adolescence leading to learning difficulties later on in life.(12)