The South African National Council on Alcoholism said that contrary to this growing norm where parents were drinking alcohol with their children, allowing under-aged children to consume alcohol was breaking the law that clearly states that the age limit for alcohol consumption in South Africa is 18, said Thembekile Msane.
Msane added that teens are more vulnerable to addiction because the pleasure centre of the brain matures before the part of the brain responsible for impulse control and executive decision-making.
“Substance abuse is a national concern as indicated by the United Nations World Drug Report in 2014. 7.06% of the South African population abuses narcotics and it is estimated that 1 out of 14 people are regular users of substance and that roughly translates to 3.74 million people,” she said.
Developing a drinking habit exacerbates societal issues and leads to an alcohol dependent society, explained Msane. She further said that repercussions of early drinking include violent behaviour, engaging in unprotected sex - sometime with multiple sex partners and also developing alcoholism.