There is building evidence that drinking alcohol is harmful to the developing brain, particularly to the area of the brain that is responsible for rational thinking. Damage to this part of the brain during its development can lead to learning difficulties, memory problems, and the risk of mental health problems. There may be an association with other problems later in lifesuch as alcohol dependence. Concerns about the risks of alcohol for young people, including the potential impact on brain development, led to National Health and Medical Research recommending:For young people under 18 years of age, no alcohol is the safest choice. Delaying drinking alcohol as long as possible is also recommended.