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Survey Reveals That Boredom Drives British Teens to Drink

posted 01:31 AM EST, Wed August 05, 2009
Survey Reveals That Boredom Drives British Teens to Drink © Photo Credit: Samuel Trip

A British charity survey reveals that teenagers with nothing to do are likely to take advantage of low cost alcohol to get drunk over the summer holidays.

The UK charity public health organization, “Drinkaware”  surveyed 1071, 16 and 17 year old British youth to learn more about what’s driving these kids to drink; and they found that in many cases, it’s boredom that’s instigating drinking behaviors.

Of those surveyed, 8% admitted to drinking once weekly out of boredom and 29% admitted that boredom had caused them to drink alcohol at some point.

The charity organization warned that the summer holiday months offered teens increased leisure time to get bored and then to get drunk.

Of those polled, 61% planned to drink alcohol over the summer holidays.

The CEO of another public health charity, Alcohol Concern, Don Shenker, commented on the survey results by saying that it’s a lack of organized free activity over the summer holidays that leads to teens searching out alternate forms of entertainment.  He says that the price of low-cost alcohol on sale across the nation led teens to perceive drinking as an affordable recreational past time, saying, "When 11 litres of supermarket cider costs less than the price of a Harry Potter ticket, it's no wonder they think alcohol is better value for money."

Alcohol Concern recently polled a group of teachers, public health workers, doctors, nurses and police officers to find out what measures those working in contact with the alcohol drinking public wished taken to reduce drink related problems.

Two thirds of those polled said that retailers should be prohibited from discounting alcohol prices and three quarters said that pubs and bars shouldn’t be allowed to run drink specials promoting excessive consumption.

The CEO of the Royal College of Nursing, Peter Carter, who participated in the administration of the survey, said that these professionals were sending a pretty clear message about the need to tighten up regulations about the sale and promotion of alcohol. In speaking for the nurses he represented, he said, "Alcohol misuse is our national disgrace. Up and down the country nurses see the devastating effect that alcohol has in blighting the lives of young and old alike.

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