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In the UK, Cheap Cider Leads to Teen Drunkenness Problems

posted 12:37 AM EST, Fri October 09, 2009
In the UK, Cheap Cider Leads to Teen Drunkenness Problems © Photo Credit:Ellanoir

Researchers studying underage drinking patterns in England say that teens that drink cider in public are most likely to suffer alcohol related consequences, while teens whose parents supply them with alcohol are less likely to get into trouble.

UK researchers who surveyed 9833 underage drinkers in north western England found that teens that drank low-cost alcohol and teens who procured alcohol illicitly were most likely to get into trouble from their drinking.

The researchers surveyed the teens about:

  • What, how often and where they drank
  • How they got their alcohol
  • The problems encountered, resulting from the use of alcohol; specifically, having sex that was later regretted while under the influence, being involved with violence while intoxicated, drinking in public and forgetting things that had happened while intoxicated

The researchers did not find any patterns of drinking that were associated with no risk of alcohol related harms. Harms were most often encountered when:

  • Teens consumed very low cost, high strength alcohol, like bottled cider
  • When teen procured their alcohol illicitly
  • When teens drank in public places

Interestingly, parents who supplied their teens with alcohol seemed to protect them from some harm:

  • 19.5% of teens who said that their parents supplied them with alcohol admitted to drunken violence, while almost double, 35.9%, of teens who procured alcohol illicitly, admitted the same.

The researchers recommend that policy makers:

  • Take steps to reduce children’s ability to procure alcohol illicitly
  • Raise the prices on very low cost/high strength alcohol, like large bottles of cider

The research results can be read in the journal, BMC Public Health

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