How to tackle binge drinking among young people

Washington, December 29: Researchers at the University of Bath have come up with some guidelines to deal with the problem of binge drinking.

The researchers said that a study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), had suggested several considerations for future policy.

Lead researcher Christine Griffin revealed that the study focused on the role of marketing practices in shaping young people's attitudes to alcohol consumption, and included analysis of 216 alcohol adverts, both in print and broadcast.

The team said that though extreme drinking and determined drunkenness might be the norm amongst young people, there was some positive news-evidence suggested that increases in young people's alcohol consumption was levelling off.

Studies conducted in the past had shown that representations of binge drinking as a source of entertainment, coupled with pervasive coverage of drunken celebrities, was the reason behind an increased the social acceptance of binge drinking.

They also found that ads representing the 'coolness' of excessive drinking, along with the increasing use of internet based social networking sites that were used to share images of drunken nights out, also enabled the linkage between alcohol and "having fun".

As to what steps should be taken to tackle the scourge of binge drinking, Professor Griffin said: "Top of my list would have to be to stop demonising and making generalisations about young people and their drinking. We also need to listen and incorporate their views and perspectives."

Professor Isabelle Szmigin added: "Although many young people recognise the damage that 'drinking too much' can do to their health, and the associated risks of physical and sexual assault, few view these as more than short term problems."

Professor Chris Hackley said: "The study suggests a radical re-thinking of national alcohol policy is required which takes into account the social character of alcohol consumption and the identity implications for young people."

Copyright Asian News International/