Actions to reduce the harmful consumption of alcohol are being promoted as part of the National Strategy for Addressing Dependence on Illicit Substances and the Harmful Use of Alcohol 2013-2020. Our priority, as well as that of Europe as a whole, is to promote action to address the harm associated with consumption and heavy episodic consumption of alcohol among children, teens and young people. These two points represent the common concerns of all member states. Therefore, the European Alcohol Action Plan 2014-2017 includes in the “youth” target group the unborn child, children, teens and young adults up to 25 years of age. In doing so, the European Commission ensures the protection of children, by embracing the different legal drinking age limits across Europe through targeted actions, as well as the tackle of harmful and dangerous use among young people, who above the legal age limit.
This approach is also in line with scientific research showing that the brain does not grow fully until the 25th year of age, making children and young people particularly vulnerable to alcohol. Protecting young people from the harm caused by alcohol is therefore particularly important, and this requires the implementation of a range of actions, targeting different age groups among young people.