Teen Drinking Rates Falling Significantly

The Rise of the Young Non-Drinkers

The BBC has once again confirmed today what we all already knew – that drinking rates among young people are in sharp decline.

According to the National Health Statistics just 12% of 11 to 15-year olds said they had drunk alcohol in the previous week in 2011 – down from 26% a decade earlier. The proportion who said they had ever drunk alcohol fell from 61% to 45% over the same period.

Among older teenagers and young adults, the pattern was the same. In 1998 71% of 16 to 26-year-olds said they’d had an alcoholic drink that week. By 2010 only 48% did so.

Gary Lovatt, Director of Social Sense says the figures are consistent with their findings in schools all across the UK but that the negative perceptions still remain:

“We regularly record the actual drinking statistics among 13-15 year olds and still see a huge disparity between the negative perception and often positive truth.

Those who are drinking are not doing so at the volumes or frequency levels perceived, and by promoting this positive social norm we are seeing real perception and behaviour change among peers.”

He adds:

“Parents and indeed school staff remain sceptical, so portraying young people in a more positive and importantly truthful way is something we can all do to sustain the positive behaviour trend.”

The R U Different? programme has now collected over 2million responses covering all elements of risk taking behaviour among teenagers and adolescents.

For more information about getting involved, contact grace@social-sense.co.uk or call 0161 214 5216.

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