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Teens drinking at a younger age
Teens drinking at a younger age

Queensland children are drinking alcohol years earlier than previous generations with new research showing the average child has their first drink at just 12 years of age.

An exclusive Seven News Right to Information investigation has revealed the problem is getting worse.

At 18 years of age, Becc is now legally allowed to drink alcohol but she has instead given it up.

"I never really had a teenage life because I was drinking alcohol so often," she said.

It started when she was 12, and she was in rehab by her 16th birthday.

"We used to drink anything - spirits, wine, beer, anything that was around I guess," she admits.

"Most people always encouraged it, especially older males."

"The latest statistics show clearly that they're starting younger," Suzi Morris from the Gold Coast Drug Council says.

"You're talking about a child's brain, and there are no safe levels of drinking until that brain is formed."

Unpublished government research obtained under Right to Information legislation shows the average Queensland child has their first drink at 12 years and 7 months.

That's three years earlier than Queenslanders who are now in their 20s - they had their first drink at 15. While those who are now in their 50s started drinking at 17.

Nineteen per cent of Queensland adults admit to supplying someone else's child with alcohol. Twelve per cent say they have during Schoolies.

Statistics show parents are also to blame. Almost one in 10 not only admit to giving their child alcohol but allow them to drink without supervision. Most say, at least that way, they know how much their child is drinking."

Reformed binge drinker Chris Raine had his first drink when he was 14.

"Drinking has been a huge part of my life"

Now, the founder of "Hello Sunday Morning" helps thousands live life without the booze.

"Hundreds of people sign up to hello sunday morning every month that are parents and want to be positive role models for their kids," he said.