Skip to main content

Alcoholic Drinks: Young People

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimates he has made of the number of young people under 16 who are regular binge drinkers. (152243)

I have been asked to reply.

Available evidence suggests (“Schools Survey on Drinking, Smoking and Drug Use among young people”) that the percentage of young people who drink alcohol is falling (from 27 per cent. in 1996 to 21 per cent. in 2006).

Because there is no definition of binge drinking for under-18s, the Government do not make an estimate of how many under-16s regularly binge drink. We do know, from the Schools Survey, that around half of young people under 16 who had drunk alcohol in the last week consumed an average of more than four units on each day they drank. These findings, however, only relate to young people who drank alcohol in the last seven days. The majority of pupils did not drink any alcohol at all during that time.