Swanswell cautiously welcomes fall in younger drinkers

16 July 2015

Swanswell cautiously welcomes fall in younger drinkers

National recovery charity Swanswell, has cautiously welcomed new research which says young people are drinking less. However, more should be done to educate children about alcohol earlier.

Young people are drinking less frequently, and less when they do, according to a report published by think tank Demos. A survey of 16-24 year olds revealed one in five don’t drink at all and two thirds said alcohol wasn’t an important part of their life. Some said they didn’t drink because they were worried about their health, or their image on social media. The cost of alcohol stopped others drinking.

However, despite falling by a third in a decade, nearly one in five said they binged on alcohol regularly.

Commenting on the findings, Swanswell’s Chief Executive Debbie Bannigan said; ‘Any news that young people are drinking less is positive, but we need to be cautious. Nearly one in five of those surveyed are binge drinking and that’s storing up problems for the future. Alcohol is responsible for many problems and costs our society up to £21 billion a year. It causes a range of health problems from cancer to preventable Alcohol Dementia.’

She added; ‘All the research shows that children’s attitudes to drinking are most heavily influenced before they reach age 11. Yet even in primary school they receive a mixed message.  On the one hand they are given information about drugs and alcohol, however last year we revealed one in three primary schools served alcohol to adults at children’s events, such as the school disco. When children see their parents drinking in school it ‘normalises’ it, and creates an early link between socialising and alcohol. We think this is a bar too far and we want to see dry primary schools. We all have a part to play in tackling alcohol misuse, it’s not something any individual, organisation or government can tackle on their own.’

 

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