The Youth Non-Drinking Epidemic

Dick Puddlecote

The Youth Non-Drinking EpidemicMore news today on this ‘binge-drinking epidemic’ amongst young people that we keep hearing about.

The study says the proportion of teenagers and young adults drinking on five or more days a week has more than halved since 2005. Binge drinking – which is defined as more than eight units for men and six units for women – has gone down by nearly a third to 18% among this age group over the same period.

Perhaps this might, erm, educate the drones at the National Union of Students into not unfairly painting their peers as a collection of violent, shit-faced, destructive savages by calling for urgent measures to whack up the price of drinks and even ban alcohol in student bars.

Nah, probably not. Because the ‘binge-drinking epidemic’ is just one of those moral panics that refuses to go away despite a decade of facts showing that it’s bunkum. It’s interesting too, that this dramatic decline is continuing at the same time as alcohol duty is being cut, booze is still advertised at sports events, in cinemas, at concerts and on the TV, and minimum alcohol pricing is still considered an entirely unwarranted proposal.

In fact, the only factor that this institutional decline can be attributed to is education, seeing as kids are harangued – on the national curriculum – from kindergarten to university about the evils of alcohol these days. Yet ‘public health’ still routinely insists that education is a poor driver of change and that we need armies of their kind to lobby for legislation with our taxes as well, or else we’ll all soon be heading to Armageddon in a drug-infused tumbril.

But then, I suppose if teachers are doing all the work, there’s not much scope for lobbyists, anti-business proselytisers, junk science researchers, global summits and the huge salaries and expense accounts that come with them, eh?



  1. “In fact, the only factor that this institutional decline can be attributed to is education…”

    Whilst that is the most obvious and likely attribution, I think there may be other factors too.

    The most obvious to me would be the stark demographic changes in many of our largest towns and cities, with particular note to places like Birmingham, Luton, Bradford, Blackburn, London, Leicester….

    …All of which have a bulging youth culture coming through the high schools and colleges that is not likely to be taking up alcoholic/ binge drinking nights out.

    There was a study a few years ago about the doubling (or so) of diabetes two cases in England. Similarly, I think demographics play in to such statistics, particularly when some groups are genetically multiple times more likely to have it than others – and when their numbers have doubled (or so) during the measuring period.

    To attribute it all to pie-eating and super obese natives (such as the BBC footage chose to accompany the article with) is not necessarily accurate, although I would believe that as a nation people are getting fatter and more unhealthy in their long term diets.

    Maybe the ones who do binge drink are getting rowdier than ever, making up for the loss of numerical volume?! lol.

    I think there is nothing wrong with a beer in moderation, but I loathe the embarassing binge drinking hedonism that goes on. As a nationalist, I try and encourage a more upstanding (pardon the pun) and cleaner lifestyle approach.

    So if the English are actually sobering up and facing their realities instead of escapism, I would consider that a positive. Somehow I think wider aspects are at play amongst the target age audience being sampled and that they are not going to be swayed by sports advertising or other means.

    • A question worth asking is whether the persons you have in mind are genuinely that abstemious. Most of the ones I know enjoy a drink on the quiet.

      • Whilst I wouldn’t paint all such people with the same brush, my observations whilst living in a town near to Blackburn for most of my life (both of which are approximately 33% Asian) is that this particular sector of society are not known for their drinking, even on the quiet.

        They are not what I would consider being at risk of being lost within the “binge drinking culture” of the kind taken up by rest of the locals, even if a fraction of them did quaff a sly Jack Daniels with coke.

        Those (of a non-law breaking nature) in the age being considered by the study are far more easily found to be playing snooker, football, playing computer games or hanging around in various milkshake/fastfood parlours or cinema complexes.

        It is certainly not a criticism. In fact, good for them – I wish many within my own section of the community were not embarassing themselves with outlandish drunkard behaviour.

        I can only suspect that similar areas in Yorkshire, Leicester, Luton, Birmingham and so forth are similar in their lack of drinking culture, which, I forsee being cut off before it even starts via a difference in the group-peer-pressure dynamics (whist at the latter years of junior school and throughout high school and college).

        I remember when I was at those ages, and the pressure was there that if you were not drinking (to some degree, not necessarily binge drinking) – that you were “square”, a bit of a loser, not popular (not invited to gatherings where it would be present) and you were otherwise being pushed for “going out and having a good time” and “being an adult” – which flowed through into college years and in some cases Uni.

        When these are not present, when religious adherance and fear of reprecussions from the wider family and community are present – I can only believe that the statistics on “binge drinking” (amongst teenagers in a nation which is sliding into a radical demographic shift within this age group), will be somewhat influenced by this.

        I am sure there will be some in the local Asian community who bend the rules and drink. For example, the kinds of lads in their early 20s who live on the fringes of society with fast cars, drugs, and whatnot – but you certainly don’t tend to see them in pubs, bars or clubs. Maybe it is different in larger conurbations.

        In theory, they are not supposed to smoke nor gamble either, but there are a lot who smoke and I am sure many gamble on the lottery. Drinking though, I can’t see much of it and never see them buying any. Mind you, that is not to say they never do it.

Leave a Reply