NICE guidance on alcohol

NICE in a briefing for local authorities about what they can do about alcohol harms say the following about young people’s drinking:

A survey of nearly 10,000 young drinkers aged 15–16 years in north west England reported that 28% had experienced violence when drunk, 13% had regretted alcohol-related sex and 45% had forgotten things after drinking. (See Teenage drinking, alcohol availability and pricing: a cross-sectional study of risk and protective factors for alcohol-related harms in school children.)

Half a million children in England between the ages of 11 and 15 will have been drunk in the past 4 weeks (CMO guidance on the consumption of alcohol by children and young people).

Thirteen thousand children and young people aged under 18 are admitted to hospital each year as a result of drinking alcohol (Statistics on alcohol: England 2012).

Their advice for public health on educational interventions is:

  • Maintain and develop local partnerships to support alcohol education in schools.
  • Provide community-based programmes that educate parents and children together about alcohol and the harm it can cause (programmes for parents-only are effective, but less so than when children are also involved). These should start early, before the child reaches 13, because it is important to establish a strong message in the early years of a child’s life.
  • Ensure programmes complement the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education provided in schools and other education settings.
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