Oscar (age 15): A lot of my friends, you know, take the weekend as a kind of, like, they look forward to, you know, wanting to drink and stuff like that. But I don’t really, you know, it’s just, I don’t really feel the pressure to drink.
Smriti (age 14): I’m not going to touch alcohol or drugs – well definitely not drugs – I’m not going to touch alcohol until I’m 18. Right now I’m way too young and I will not, I don’t even think about alcohol right now. I really don’t. But I don’t want to be held back, in the future I will try some alcohol, but I don’t think I will really get into it or anything.
Sam (age 13): Alcohol can just be, like, people can just drink too much of it sometimes but otherwise people can be sensible with it.
Mary (mother of 3): When we have wine we’ll sometimes let them have fizzy drink to show that it’s a special occasion thing, rather than them think that adults have a lot and kids don’t have any then when you’re allowed you go berserk.
Lakshmi (mother of 2): I guess I started drinking very late in my life, like late 20s or something. And, so, we do have wine, every couple of weeks, at weekends and, you know, beer or whatever, we do have alcohol when we have friends over. But my children always knew that they are not allowed to try, even – and I was quite strict with that – alcohol. Because I always believed that the later you let them taste and try alcohol, the less the chances of them becoming addicted to it. That’s my personal belief, so that’s why I said look you can only try when you are 18.
Mary: After reading more and more things and seeing more documentaries recently that how much it affects the brain under 18 years. I used to be of the mind that you, you know, yes, you let them start having a drink at 15 and 16, things at home. But now after seeing those I’m more inclined to hold off, even on that sort of thing.
Kristin (mother of 1): I actually don’t believe that children should use drugs or alcohol because of their brain development. I think it interferes with their brain development and the science seems to show that.
Oscar: Everyone I know thinks they’re invincible, they can do, drink as much as they want, smoke as much as they want. Do anything and, like, not die, but obviously when someone dies it’s gonna hit home.
Kristin: I do constantly talk to him about the dangers to his brain, and also all the underlying dangers of... I think the real danger with teenagers using drugs and alcohol is that they don’t know themselves yet. They’re not fully, umm, they’re not fully at ease with themselves and so they use it for the wrong reasons.