NZ Herald 18 September 2016
Family First Comment: This is why we lobbied for the drinking age to be raised.
“…..early onset of alcohol consumption tends to increase the likelihood of regular and heavy use and has been associated with increased rates of violence and injury, unprotected sex, mental health problems, suicide, poorer educational outcomes and problem drinking later in life.”
More than a quarter of Kiwi drinkers aged 15-17 say they downed eight or more drinks the last time they touched alcohol.
New data released by Crown entity the Health Promotion Agency has analysed the consumption habits of 4005 youths “during their last drinking occasion”.
Over half of those who admitted drinking were classed by the HPA as consuming alcohol at a “risky level” – with 28 per cent reporting between five and seven drinks and 27 per cent saying they drank eight or more.
Ready to drink (RTDs) and beer were the most popular choice, with spirits the third most frequent drink type.
Alcohol Healthwatch director Rebecca Williams says for people between 15-17 to be consuming eight drinks at a time is seriously concerning and puts them at risk of alcohol poisoning.
“There are both short and long-term risks there. Obviously the immediate ones are they will be incredibly intoxicated, moving towards not being able to make any rational decisions about whether to continue drinking, how they get themselves home and who they go off with,” Williams said.
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