Results have recently been released from a survey taken of young adults that suggests 12 years old is the first time that many have become ‘intoxicated’ with alcohol. Following the research it emerged that a stunning 66% of those who had confessed to underage drinking, first sampled alcohol abroad with Spain being the most popular country.
The research, carried out by sunshine.co.uk, asked 2,113 people from the UK aged between 18-21 about the first time they touched alcohol. The survey was kept anonymous to encourage more truthful answers. The survey also asked both male and females from locations across the country in order to get the most accurate data.
The data that was received following the poll unearthed some surprising truths about the nature of underage drinking abroad. In response to the question ‘How old were you when you first became intoxicated (tipsy or drunk) after drinking alcohol?’ The average result from the answers to this question was 12 years of age, a worrying statistic given that those of this age will almost always be with families.
The following question asked was where the youngsters first got their hands on the alcohol, this is where we see the huge number of first-timers that took their first sip abroad. The staggeringly high percentage of those who first drank abroad sits at 66% whilst the other percentages came from at home (11%,) at a friend’s house (10%,) in a park (7%,) and at a wedding/special occasion (3%). Managing Director of sunshine.co.uk, Chris Clarkson spoke about the 66% of young Britons who’d drank underage abroad:
“It’s fair to say that alcohol is more freely available to young people when they’re on holiday abroad, because other countries can be more lenient with their alcohol laws and policies…”
Those surveyed were asked what the tipple of choice had been for the underage drinkers, alcopops came out top at 31% with cider second at 25%, these results are somewhat less surprising given the sweetness in flavor and marketing campaigns that are generally aimed at youth.
To further compound the figures of young drinkers, 59% of those who confessed to underage drinking answered ‘yes’ when asked if their parents were aware or had been present at the time of drinking. This figure is very troubling when we consider that the first question on the poll was not ‘when did you first taste alcohol,’ it was ‘when did you first become intoxicated by alcohol’ Whilst it is naturally safer that something like this would occur with parents being nearby, it is worrying to think that it is occurring at all, Sunshine’s Clarkson went on to say:
“I was shocked that young people are 12 years old, on average, when they first get drunk. It’s one thing letting a youngster have a sip of your champagne on New Year’s Eve, but it’s another matter entirely allowing them to end up drunk; not to mention dangerous!”