Young People And Alcohol Brenda Fullard


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Young People And Alcohol Brenda Fullard

  1. 1. The Young People and Alcohol Action to Change Behaviour and Attitudes A Renewed Focus on Working with Parents Brenda Fullard Regional Public Health Specialist North West Public Health and Social Care Group
  2. 2. <ul><li>• Legal prohibition on the purchase of alcohol </li></ul><ul><li>by under-18s </li></ul><ul><li>• Restriction on consumption by under-5s </li></ul><ul><li>• Alcohol education in schools </li></ul><ul><li>• Department of Health’s “safe drinking limits” </li></ul><ul><li>• Voluntary agreements with the alcohol and </li></ul><ul><li>advertising industries </li></ul><ul><li>• Safe. Sensible. Social. introduced young </li></ul><ul><li>people as a priority </li></ul>Government policy to date: headlines
  3. 3. Reasons why young people drink Having “ever tried alcohol” rises with age, so that by age 15, a significant majority (82%) will have tried alcohol Socially acceptable “ everyone” drinks Facilitate socialising with peers Role models Have fun, to relax, and to feel more outgoing To get drunk Access to alcohol • • • • • •
  4. 4. The pattern of young people’s drinking differs with age At 11 - majority do not drink – those who do, tend to drink at home with parents At 13 - just over half have tried a drink, while nearly 1/3 drink once a month or more – equal proportions of 13 year olds drink with parents and friends At 15 - most have tried alcohol, while 1/3 drink once a week or more – majority usually drink with their friends – most common drinking location is still at home or someone else’s home – but drinking in unsupervised outdoor locations, which is closely linked with harms, peaks in this age group 16-17 – half drink at least once a week – the most popular drinking location is in pubs • • • •
  5. 5. Immediate consequences 18 children a day were admitted to hospital for alcohol related illness between 2002-06 Young drinkers are more likely to suffer accidents, get involved in crime and behave anti-socially 40% of young people who drank had experienced alcohol-fuelled violence either as victims or perpetrators • • • •
  6. 6. Longer term consequences Younger age of initiation is associated with: – greater number of years of ill health – poorer academic performance – stronger likelihood of progression into problematic use Deaths due to liver cirrhosis have been rising in the 25-34 age range and this is thought to be a consequence of patterns of increased drinking starting at earlier ages • •
  7. 7. Sexual activity <ul><li>Men and women drink to: </li></ul><ul><li>– Find sexual partners and have sex </li></ul><ul><li>Problems for safe sex: </li></ul><ul><li>– Reduces inhibitions and increases risk-taking; reduces potential to </li></ul><ul><li>consider consequences </li></ul><ul><li>Those who drink <16 are 3 times more likely to have sex <16 </li></ul><ul><li>20% males and 13% females aged 15-19 say alcohol main reason for first sex </li></ul><ul><li>1 in 10 15-16 year olds - sex after drinking later regretted </li></ul><ul><li>Young people 3x as likely to have unprotected sex when drunk </li></ul><ul><li>Abrahamson, 2004; Bellis & Hughes, 2004, 2007; Boreham & McManus, 2003, Wight et al, 2000; Ingham, 2001 </li></ul>
  8. 8. Where do young people get alcohol? Tougher enforcement means it has become harder for young people under the age of 18 to buy alcohol and be served in pubs Several campaigns, have reduced the test purchase failure rate from around 50% to about 15% However , under-18s overwhelmingly say that they are still able to purchase alcohol From home/parents Proxy sales • • • • •
  9. 9. What parents have told us… They do not want legislative change re: age restrictions They do think learning how to drink sensibly (“knowing your limits”) is an important part of growing up They do think some teenagers drink far too much They do think teenagers now drink more and more riskily than when they were young They do think that drinking in public places is a growing problem • • • • •
  10. 10. What Police & Communities have told us… Confiscation campaigns & test purchasing yield valuable evidence about where children get alcohol: – Providing evidence of retailers consistently failing to comply with the law by selling alcohol to children – Over 1/3 of young people drinking on the street are under 16 and cannot be dispersed under the “ Directions to Leave” powers Perceptions of Anti-Social Behaviour are largely influenced by young people drinking in public places Drinking by young people causes fights, vandalism and makes people feel unsafe on the street • • •
  11. 11. 4 main packages of proposals 1. Young People 2. Parents 3. Industry 4. Young People Drinking in Public Places DCSF. Youth Alcohol Action Plan. 2008. TSO (The Stationery Office)
  12. 12. 1. Supporting young people to make sensible decisions Guidelines on young people and alcohol A comprehensive communications campaign about the risks of alcohol, aimed particularly at the11-15s Review drug and alcohol education to include help for schools and colleges to identify and support young people at risk of alcohol harm arising from either their own use or that of parents Positive Activities & Targeted Youth Support • • • •
  13. 13. 2. Establishing a new partnership with parents Advice and guidance issued to parents re: young people and alcohol, which will include a statement of what the guidelines are (based on the work of the CMO and Expert Panel as well as consultation findings) Evaluation of family based interventions to assess if they are improving outcomes and reducing risks for those affected by alcohol-misusing parents • •
  14. 14. 3. Taking action with industry Work with local authorities to implement locally funded test purchase campaigns Encourage the imposition of tougher sanctions on those found to be breaching licensing conditions Wider rollout of Challenge 21 - to ensure that all outlets seek identification for those appearing to be under 21 Encourage wider use of Proof of Age Standard Schemes Encourage industry to ensure that everyone selling alcohol is aware of best practice in refusing under-age sales Strengthening the standards with a view to making them mandatory • • • • • •
  15. 15. 4. Young People Drinking in Public Places Implement new legislation to make it an offence for under-18s to persistently possess alcohol in public places Legislate to give police the powers to disperse all under-18s who are drinking and behaving anti-socially from any location Extend Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABC) to young people caught drinking and behaving anti-socially in public, requiring them and their parents to attend a session with a trained worker Ensure Parenting Contracts are used with parents of young people repeatedly caught drinking in public • • • •
  16. 16. Questions <ul><li>There is strong focus on changing the actions of young people and their parents: is this enough? </li></ul><ul><li>If we could eliminate the use of alcohol by under 18s – what impact would that have on teenage pregnancy levels? </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Brenda Fullard </li></ul><ul><li>Regional Public Health Specialist </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Health </li></ul><ul><li>Government Office for the North West </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>