A new study has found that teenagers are six times more likely to binge drink if they are given alcohol by someone other than their parents.
The research by the Deakin University has prompted the Australian Drug Foundation to call for uniform laws across Australia, making it illegal to give children alcohol without their parents' permission, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
AdvertisementThe foundation's chief executive John Rodgerson said only Queensland and Tasmania had laws penalising the supply of alcohol to underage people without their parents' permission.
"We believe children in Victoria, South Australia, the ACT, Western Australia and the Northern Territory are at greater risk of alcohol-related harms without this legislation," he said.
The study also found the more friends a child has who drink alcohol, the more likely that child is to obtain alcohol from people other than his/her parents.
"We know that when young people binge drink, they are more at risk of harms such as sexual assault, injury or even death," said Rogerson.
"It can also set children up for a lifetime of heavy drinking, " he added.
The foundation said an effective measure to protect children is a law that puts parents in control of their children's drinking.
"Medical researchers advise that alcohol can cause irreparable damage to the developing brain and children should be encouraged to delay drinking," said Rogerson.
"We need stricter laws to protect our children from the harms associated with drinking alcohol, particularly as adolescence is such a critical time for brain development," he added.
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