UK’s teens more likely than others to get drunk

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Young people in the UK are more likely to have been drunk by the age of 13 than those in almost any other country, according to a study.

Those aged 15 to 16 are more likely to have been drunk at least once in the last month than their counterparts almost anywhere else, the survey for the charity Alcohol Concern found.

Only Estonia, Malta and the Isle of Man have recorded higher figures.

The study also revealed that 63 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds agree that cheap alcohol promotions encourage excessive drinking, and 61 per cent say advertising that associates alcohol with fun influences expectations of drinking or being drunk.

The study, to mark Alcohol Awareness Week, claims that alcohol is 44 per cent more 
affordable now in relative terms than it was in 1980.

Seven out of ten young people (69 per cent) agreed that the difference in the price of alcohol bought from pubs and bars compared with off-licences 
influences how they drink.

They also reported that it is often “cheaper to buy a three-litre bottle of cider than a ticket to go to the cinema”.