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National Statistics
Publication

Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People in England 2018 [NS]

This is part of

National statistics
Publication date:
Geographic coverage:
England
Geographical granularity:
Regions
Date range:
01 Jan 2018 to 31 Dec 2018

Part 6: Young people who drink alcohol

This part focuses further on the behaviour of pupils who drink alcohol.

Topics covered include:

  • where pupils get alcohol.
  • where they buy alcohol.
  • where they drink and who they drink with.

Most of the analysis is based on ‘current drinkers’: pupils who drink alcohol at least a few times a year.  In 2018, 38% of pupils said that they drank alcohol at least a few times a year.

This increased sharply by age, from 9% of 11 year olds to 66% of 15 year olds, and therefore, the age profile of current drinkers is heavily weighted towards older pupils.

 

Where pupils get alcohol

How obtained alcohol in the last four weeks

This measure is based on pupils who obtained alcohol in the last four weeks. Pupils could give more than one answer to this question.

Of pupils who obtained alcohol in the last four weeks, they were most likely to have been given it by parents or guardians (71%). Other common sources were to be given it by friends (49%), or to take it from home with permission (48%).

9% of pupils said they had bought alcohol from a shop or pub in the last 4 weeks, with 15 year olds the most likley to have done so (14% - see table 6.2).

Image showing how obtained alcohol in the last four weeks

 

Where current drinkers usually buy alcohol

24% of current drinkers said they usually bought alcohol from friends or relatives, the most common source. 19% said they usually bought alcohol from any retailer or licenced premises, though this was higher for older pupils; 26% of 15 year olds, compared to 12% of 11 to 13 year olds (see table 6.5).

61% of current drinkers said they never buy alcohol, the proportion being higher for younger pupils; 76% of 11 to 13 year olds  (not shown on chart - see table 6.5).

Image showing where current drinkers usually buy alcohol

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Where pupils usually drink

Where current drinkers usually drink

For this question, pupils were able to give more than one answer.

Pupils who drank alcohol were most likely to do so in their own home (66%). Other common responses were at someone else’s home (41%), or at parties with friends (40%).

Image showing where current drinkers usually drink

 

Where current drinkers usually drink, by age

For this question, pupils were able to give more than one answer, and only the most common locations are shown in the chart.

Drinking at home was common for pupils of all ages, but more so for younger pupils. Drinking at parties with friends and at someone else’s home become more common as pupils get older.

Image showing where current drinkers usually drink, by age

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Who pupils usually drink with

Who current drinkers usually drink with

For this question, pupils were able to give more than one answer.

The majority of current drinkers said they drank with parents (66%) or friends (58%)1.

Only 3% of pupils said that they usually drank alone.

Image showing who current drinkers usually drink with

 

Who current drinkers usually drink with, by age

For this question, pupils were able to give more than one answer, and only the most common responses are shown in the chart.

Younger pupils who drank were most likely to say they usually drank with their parents, whereas older pupils were more likely to say they usually drank with friends.1

Image showing who current drinkers usually drink with, by age

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1. Includes either friends of both sexes, of only the same sex, of only the opposite sex, and boyfriends/girlfriends

For more data relating to this section:

 

 

Adverse consequences of being drunk

Adverse consequences of drinking for pupils who were drunk in the last four weeks

As reported in part 5, 9% of pupils had been drunk in the last four weeks.

Of these pupils, the most common adverse consequence reported was feeling ill or sick (40%). 23% had vomited, 18% had an argument, 17% damaged clothes or other items and 17% lost money or other items. 

Image showing adverse consequences of being drunk in the last 4 weeks

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Last edited: 15 August 2019 2:37 pm