Monday, 19 November 2012

#AlcoholAware2012: Young people and drinking...or rather not drinking


Alcohol Concern are off out from the traps in "Alcohol Awareness Week" with an opinion survey of 16-24 years olds. This leads them gently to agree with the prohibitionists view:

They told researchers that alcohol promotions encouraged excessive drinking, pointing out it was 'cheaper to buy a three-litre bottle of cider than buy a ticket to go to the cinema'.

Yet again we see false comparisons being made. I'm pretty sure that 17 year old Steve isn't going to impress his new girlfriend by saying; "we're not going to the pictures tonight, I've bought three litres of White Lightning. We can sit on the wall of the park and get pissed."

The real figures - the ones that Alcohol Concern prefer not to mention - tell us that this generation of young people is the most sober generation since the 1960s. Alcohol consumption among children has fallen significantly:

13% of secondary school pupils aged 11 to 15 reported drinking alcohol in the week prior to interview in 2010 compared with 18% of pupils in 2009 and 26% in 2001.

In 1998 71% of 16-24 year olds reported drinking in the previous week (that's any drink at all - just the one). By 2012 this figure had fallen to just 48%. This doesn't suggest that we have a problem with young people and drinking - quite the contrary, the strategy of being open about drinking, informing people and using persuasion has worked.



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