Young People Who Choose Not to Drink Alcohol-What Can we Learn From This?

Posted by on Aug 17, 2012 in Main Blog | 0 comments

Organisations such as Drugscope have for a long time favoured an approach with drug education that highlights the normative behaviour of young people, rather than making assumptions that everyone is misusing substances, because in reality, they are not.
Recent research into alcohol use amongst young people shows that many do not drink alcohol. http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/positive-choice-young-people
When we live in a media dominated world of pictures and news stories of drunken young people it can be easy to forget that a large proportion do not drink. It is important that this is emphasised to those we educate, so that they understand that ‘not everyone is doing it’ and that it is okay to choose the option of not drinking, even though others may try to make this a difficult choice.
I was talking to a friend the other day who said that at the age of forty something she is still amazed that when she tells her friends she doesn’t wish to drink alcohol on a night out that it presents an issue. Her reasons for not drinking last weekend, were reasons that are cited by people of every age.
We also talked about the cost of soft drinks and that some places lack a variety of choices. It also seems unfair to be penalised for choosing to drink little or no alcohol. As I mentioned on Twitter yesterday, how often do we see lemonade etc on offer, 2 for 1 on a night out? Yet when I look on all the voucher code sites for offers, there are deals everywhere for 2 for 1 cocktails.
In the research into young people and drinking, for those who drink little or no alcohol they also said that soft drinks should be affordable and varied. They feel that alcohol education should recognise rather than apparently ignore those who do not drink and I feel we could learn from this and incorporate more of their experiences and opinions into alcohol education.

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