Report: Underage alcohol use falling Europe-wide
21 September 2016
The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI) has welcomed the publication of a report revealing that Irish teenagers are drinking less alcohol than ever before, and less alcohol than many of their European counterparts according to a Europe-wide survey of teenagers aged between 15-16 years.
The European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD), a four-yearly survey in which 96,000 teenagers in school across 35 countries found substantial reductions in alcohol use by teenagers in Ireland between 1995 and 2015. The survey also found that 35% of Irish teenagers consumed alcohol in the last 30 days compared to the European average of 48%. Furthermore, the numbers of teenagers in Ireland who engaged in episodic drinking over the last 30 days was 28% compared to the European average of 35%.
Speaking about the findings of the ESPAD report Director of ABFI Ross MacMathúna welcomed the report’s finding. “This report confirms findings from previous ESPAD studies,” he said, “and the most recent WHO Health Behaviour in School Aged Children Study which stated Ireland is among a group of countries which have the most abstemious adolescents. It confirms what we in the industry already know, that consumption of alcohol in Ireland has declined by 25% over the last 15 years and is declining in particular amongst our young people. We welcome and are encouraged by these findings.
“If we are to have a mature and honest discussion on alcohol consumption in Ireland,” MacMathúna continued, “we need to look at the full picture and look at the facts, which speak for themselves. In light of these findings its vital that we have an evidence based approach to the policy making in this area.”