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News - 6 January 2009

Banning happy hour won't stop teenage drinking

Research to be published in the journal 'Addiction' claims that banning happy hours, axing price promotions and and similar measure such as adding taxes to alcohol won't stop teenage binge drinking.

In fact the report suggests that this type of action only makes the problem worse as it incites youngsters to do the bulk of their drinking before they get to the pubs and clubs.

The report is quite damning of current strategies for dealing with a growing teenage drink problem but it does also offer some alternative solutions.

One such solution is to attract young people to bars where they can be monitored and served standard sized drinks in a civilised social environment.

Currently many young people are drinking neat spirits straight from the bottle in parks or on street corners to avoid paying high prices. This group includes many under-age drinkers who are learning bad habits much too early in life and they may well be a problem for society in years to come.

There is a view that young people are going to binge drink whether we like it or not and the more we try to inhibit it the more we will drive it underground where it will become potentially more dangerous. Making pubs more accessible (with monitoring and supervision) and affordable to young people (including 15-18 year olds) could offer the solution that is needed to get these young people off the streets and into a safe environment where they can learn to drink responsibly.


Read related items on:
Anti-social behaviour
Legislation
Addiction


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