Two-thirds of Irish 18-24 year olds report drinking as a coping mechanism 9 months ago

Two-thirds of Irish 18-24 year olds report drinking as a coping mechanism

Disturbing news ahead of Christmas.

Drinkaware, the national charity which aims to prevent and reduce alcohol misuse in Ireland, has said that just under two-thirds of 18-24 year olds report using alcohol as a coping mechanism.

The statistics were acquired as part of Drinkaware Index research, a national study into the drinking habits of the nation. The research was conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes via face-to-face interviews with 1,000 adults.

In the study, coping mechanism was an umbrella term which included reasons such as: 'to cheer you up when in a bad mood or feeling stressed'; 'to forget about your problems' or 'because it helps when feeling depressed or anxious'.

Furthermore, 70% of under-25s cite ‘conforming with peers’ as a motivation for consuming alcohol, by far the highest of all age group.

Comparatively, young people are more likely to use alcohol to cope than older cohorts. The rate for people between 25 and 34 was 58%.

Men are more likely to use alcohol as a coping mechanism than women, with 56% of male respondents reporting the behaviour compared to 46% of women.

Speaking about the latest figures, Sheena Horgan, Drinkaware CEO, said: "We encourage people to keep in mind that the festive season is a time of celebration for many people but can also be stressful, which can lead some to turn to alcohol to cope."

"What’s important to remember is that the more alcohol you drink, and particularly above the HSE low-risk weekly guidelines, the greater the impact on your mental health. It’s crucial that we all take proactive steps towards positive mental health and understanding our drinking habits, reducing how much we drink or cutting out alcohol entirely are part of that."