Young people * Healthy living

One in three young adults 'drink to get drunk'

One in three young adults  drink to get drunk A third think one night stands 'acceptable'

More than one in three young adults go out drinking intending to get drunk, but three quarters say they regret doing so, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 young adults carried out for alcohol charity Drinkaware also found that more than a third of 18 to 24 year olds questioned thought having a one night stand as a result of drinking was acceptable.

In fact, 18 per cent said they had done this in the past year, but 40 per cent said they later regretted their behaviour.

Almost a third of those questioned said they thought it was acceptable to wake up without knowing how they got home after a drinking session, with 27 per cent having done this in the past 12 months. However, a third of these said they regretted doing it.

And three per cent of young people said they had ended up in hospital as a result of drinking too much.

Chris Sorek, chief executive of Drinkaware, said: “We know that most young adults are going to drink, but the fact that so many get into situations they later regret means we should nudge, not nanny them to change their behaviour and avoid getting into similar, repeat situations.

“Not all young adults think extreme drunken behaviour is acceptable, but we must challenge those that do."

The survey findings have been released as part of the charity's ‘Why Let Good Times Go Bad?’ campaign, run in partnership with more than 40 companies from across the drinks industry. The campaign is aiming to challenge the notion that drunkeness is socially acceptable and encourage sensible drinking.

For the first time, Drinkaware has teamed up with the National Union of Students (NUS) to tackle alcohol misuse in university life.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: "We will not succeed in tackling irresponsible drinking unless we address the demand-side as well as the supply-side.

"So we welcome campaigns designed to help people make healthy choices, ones which reinforce positive social behaviour instead of normalising excess.

Each year, alcohol misuse for all ages in the UK is estimated to cost the NHS £2.7 billion.

This article was published on Tue 7 September 2010

Image © Yurok Aleksandrovich -

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