The rates of underage drinking in the UK have dropped for the first time in generations, thanks to social factors and better parenting.
A study on underage drinking was recently released by The Institute for Alcohol Studies, a registered charity who aim “to educate, preserve and protect the good health of the public by promoting the scientific understanding of beverage alcohol and the individual, societal and health consequences of its consumption.” The organisation also promote measures for the prevention of alcohol-related problems and carry out research into beverage alcohol.
The paper suggests that parents are now drinking less in front of their children, which is a factor in decreasing the normalising of alcohol in younger peoples’ perception. On a more pragmatic note, rising alcohol costs and more stringent ID methods (often secured with the potential of a heavy fine upon the retailer) are acting as a deterrent, keeping kids away from the booze aisle.
“This report takes an important first step towards understanding why under-age drinking has fallen, which is critical if we are to maintain the welcome progress of recent years and prevent a reversal of this trend,” said Institute director Katherine Brown “It’s terrific to see that better parenting skills and improved family relationships may be contributing to the fall in drinking among children and young people.”
According to an article in Newsweek; In 2003, 61 percent of 11- to 15-year-olds in England had tried alcohol. The most recent statistics reveal that this figure fell by 23 percent to just 38 percent in 2014. This doesn’t mean that complacency can be allowed, for ensuring that children avoid alcohol is an ongoing and challenging task. The Department of Heath stated that “Drinking among school-aged children is the lowest since records began, but we know that there is more work to be done to change behaviour across the whole population.”
More information and statistics can be found on the Drink Aware website.