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Fri 13th Feb 2015 - Binge-drinking among young dropping sharply
Binge-drinking among young dropping sharply says ONS: Binge-drinking among young adults in Britain is continuing to fall sharply, figures from the Office for National Statistics show. The proportion of  bingeing at least once a week is now down from 29% in 2005 to 18% in 2013. The ONS said that overall, fewer adults are choosing to drink alcohol and they are also drinking less when they do. More than a fifth of UK adults now say they do not drink alcohol at all, a slight increase on 2005. Binge-drinking among all UK adults fell from 18% in 2005 to 15% in 2013, but it was in young adults aged 16-24 and 25-44 that the most noticeable falls were seen. Among these groups, binge-drinking fell by a third and frequent drinking by more than two thirds since 2005. Increasing numbers of young adults aged 16-24 are now teetotal. In London, almost a third of all adults said they did not drink alcohol, higher than any other region of Great Britain. This increase in teetotallers between 2005 and 2013 was due to a rise among those aged 16 to 44, with young adults (those aged 16 to 24) seeing a 43% increase over this period. But drinkers in the north of England and in Scotland were most likely to have binged. Around a third of drinkers in these regions had binged, against less than a quarter of those in other parts of Great Britain. The Office of National Statistics said: “The fall in binge drinking between 2005 and 2013 is partially explained by increases in the proportion of young adults and those aged 25 to 44 who were teetotallers. People have also been drinking less frequently. The proportion of young adults who drank frequently (on five or more days) in the week before interview fell by more than two thirds between 2005 and 2013. In 2013 only 1 in 50 young adults drank frequently in the week before interview. As well as becoming less likely to drink alcohol at all and less likely to drink frequently, young adults also became less likely to binge when they did drink. It is difficult to attribute the fall in binge drinking among young people to any particular factor. It is known that people who start drinking at a younger age are likely to drink more frequently, and in greater quantities, in adulthood. One possible factor could be that underage drinking has been targeted in recent years. In 2003 changes were made to the conditions for licensed premises in England and Wales, which made it more difficult for underage drinkers to purchase alcohol themselves. Since then, schemes such as Challenge 21 and Challenge 25 have also been introduced in an effort to reduce the availability of alcohol to underage drinkers. Although it is not possible to assess the scale to which such factors may have had an impact on the availability of alcohol to underage drinkers, it is likely that when combined these factors have contributed somewhat to the reduction in drinking among young adults.” Men drinking more than eight units of alcohol on one day are considered to have binged.

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