Alcohol consumption among young people in Hull: Qualitative research
The main findings from the survey are as follows:
- 79% of teenagers under 18 drink alcohol.
- Young girls tend to start drinking alcohol earlier than boys.
- Teenage boys consume alcohol more regularly than girls.
- 95% of young people may be consuming alcohol at a level regarded as harmful.
- Over a fifth of young people may have a serious alcohol dependent addiction.
- Teenage boys are more likely to have an alcohol dependence problem than girls.
- 80% of young people may already be experiencing alcohol related harm as a result of their drinking.
- 70% of young people could be classified as drinking alcohol at risky or hazardous levels according to the World Health Organisation AUDIT scoring system.
- 14% of young people could be categorised as both high risk and highly dependent drinkers.
- Boys and young men are more likely to have a ‘high risk’ drinking habit than girls.
- 78% of under 18s say their parents know they drink alcohol.
- Two-thirds of under 18s say their parents don’t know how much alcohol they are drinking.
- Young people drink alcohol because they enjoy it.
The results from this survey indicate that Hull’s young drinkers are not exceptional when compared nationally and face a similar set of documented problems in relation to their alcohol consumption habits.
It seems that young girls start drinking earlier than boys, probably as a result of more advanced physical and mental maturity, but once boys begin drinking, they are more likely to consume alcohol in greater quantities and more regularly than girls of the same age. This behaviour could also contribute to the inference that young men are more likely to develop a risky dependence on alcohol in the longer term.
Physical harm from drinking alcohol, (likely to be more pronounced among maturing young people than adults, possibly even more so among young females whose bodies are less capable of managing alcohol than males in any case), could be exacerbated by a lack of knowledge and understanding by young people of the damage they may be causing themselves.
The results also imply that whilst young people are not particularly secretive about drinking alcohol, when it comes to frequency and quantities, they would rather their parents or carers were not fully aware of their alcohol consumption habit which in itself infers a sense of guilt and responsibility.
- An audit of current alcohol education across the city to be conducted to assess any gaps in provision and to learn from examples of best practice.
- To lobby for national guidance on alcohol education within the PHSE curriculum to ensure a consistent approach.
- Alcohol education needs to be more gender specific and to be successful should be delivered to girls earlier than boys e.g. girls at age 10-11 and for boys at the early stages of secondary school education.
- To deliver an awareness raising programme for parents and carers highlighting the dangers and risks of possible physical harm associated with drinking alcohol in adolescence.
- To investigate ways of reducing proxy sales e.g. developing a code of conduct for shopkeepers and members of the public to be displayed in off license premises.
- Improving effectiveness of current enforcement activity with a focus on alcohol confiscation and proxy sales.
- Greater use of the powers given to police and local authorities in the Licensing Act 2003 e.g. revocation of licenses.
- Training A&E and hospital staff to use AUDIT and/or other brief interventions when treating young people under the age of 18 for alcohol related injuries, to include signposting to the appropriate agencies.
- Help understand the scope and level of alcohol consumption among the younger population of those living and spending time in Hull.
- Identify some of the characteristics of Hull’s young people who drink and to compare the findings against other research undertaken around this subject.
- Identify suitable ways to educate, help and provide interventions (where appropriate) around the subject of alcohol misuse for young people in Hull.
In 1989 the World Health introduced the AUDIT (alcohol use disorders identification test) as a means to identify people showing hazardous or harmful patterns of alcohol consumption. The AUDIT was developed as an effective and simple screening method which could be used to help in quickly identifying excessive drinking and provide a framework for applying suitable interventions, especially within environments such as accident & emergency units. For the purposes of this survey however, the AUDIT questions have been incorporated into an on-street design questionnaire, primarily aimed at young people living in or visiting Hull.
The survey used in this case, which includes the AUDIT questions, was designed to help understand the scope and level of alcohol consumption among the younger population of those living and spending time in Hull, to identify some of the characteristics of Hull’s young people who drink and to compare the findings against other research undertaken around this subject. In turn, the aim is to identify suitable ways to educate, help and provide interventions (where appropriate) around the subject of alcohol misuse for young people in Hull.
A report examining alcohol consumption among young people in Hull.
10 to 60 years (average 17 years).
This report is based primarily on the results of the World Health Organisation’s AUDIT (alcohol use disorders identification test) which was incorporated into a clipboard survey aimed at young people living in or visiting Hull and undertaken over the period May 2007 to February 2008.
- 630: under 25’s
- 50: over 25’s
- Note that the bulk of the results are based on responses from about 480 young people aged 25 and under.
May 2007 to February 2008