HC Deb 21 December 1988 vol 144 c323W
Mr. Fearn

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has as to the percentage of 17 to 18-year-olds drinking three or more times a week; to what social factors he attributes excessive drinking among young people; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman

The most recently available information is contained in two reports on surveys conducted by OPCS. These are "Adolescent Drinking—1984" and "Drinking in England and Wales in 1987". Copies are in the Library.

In the adolescent drinking survey about a third of 17-year-old boys and a quarter of 17-year-old girls reported drinking on three or more days a week. Separate information on drinking by 18-year-olds is not readily available. The causes of excessive drinking among young people are many and varied and, inter-relate in ways which are not fully understood. The ministerial group on alcohol misuse, which co-ordinates Government action in this field, have identified the need for further research into young people's attitudes to alcohol and drinking behaviour; the group is currently taking steps to see how this might best be undertaken.