Children and alcohol don’t mix – Alcohol Awareness Week 2010
What was it?
Children and alcohol don’t mix was the theme of our Alcohol Awareness Week (AAW) campaign in 2010.
We wanted to dispel myths that most young people are drinking (they aren’t), to show that underage drinking isn’t normal and to make people aware of the impact that different influences can have on children.
What we did
We hit the streets to get opinions from more than 1,000 adults across the region to discover what they thought about children, young people and alcohol – essentially what they thought was and wasn’t acceptable.
Key findings from the research showed that parents and other adults in the North East acknowledge the need to talk to their children about alcohol misuse and its consequences. Almost six in ten of those surveyed said that parents should talk to their children about alcohol by the age of 13.
We also found that an overwhelming majority of North Easterners have never bought alcohol for their children and more than eight in ten of the region’s parents said they had not purchased alcohol for their children aged 17-years and under.
We also used the research to highlight certain key trends that relate to alcohol and childhood so we could make policy recommendations which would in turn help tackle the issues. The key areas included:
- The increase in average consumption levels amongst 11-15 year olds.
- Under 18 alcohol-related A&E attendances and how to best approach interventions with under 18s.
- The level of alcohol advertising and marketing that young people are exposed to and looking at the regulatory regime for alcohol advertising
- The connection between parental alcohol consumption and attitudes and young people’s drinking.
- The rise in ‘home-drinking’ and the effect this might have on childhood.
- The relationship between alcohol consumption, child protection and the work of social workers.
Our research revealed that:
- More than half (three in five) said they had never given alcohol to their children, aged 17 or under.
- Almost eight in ten north easterners said that young people between the ages of 13 and 15-years-old shouldn’t drink alcohol.
- Four in five adults agreed that adults should never drink too much in front of children.
- Eight in ten adults think that children between the ages of 13 and 15 should never drink alcohol.
- More than a third think that 16-17 year-olds should never drink alcohol.
What people said
Colin Shevills, Director of Balance
“The figures demonstrated that for an overwhelming majority of North Easterners, it’s just not considered normal for children and young people to drink alcohol or for their parents or other adults to enable them to drink alcohol.
“This campaign showed that the North East, on the whole, doesn’t subscribe to these mistaken beliefs. The vast majority of parents and adults in this region believe it's unacceptable for children and young people to drink. We know this strength of mind is having a real impact on reducing the number of children and young people who take up drinking at an early age.
“We hope this knowledge provided the minority of parents who are allowing their children to drink at an early age, or turning a blind eye, with a different perspective and the confidence to make the right decision when it comes to letting their children drink.”