Binge drinking on decline, report reveals

Wednesday, 09 October, 2019

Binge drinking on decline, report reveals

Binge drinking has declined by more than 18% in four out of six WHO regions between 2005 and 2016, dropping by 23% among Europeans aged between 20 and 24 years. However, studies reveal that 51% of adults across nine countries believe binge drinking is on the rise. While data from WHO indicates that binge drinking is becoming less prevalent in several regions, the private sector can do more to accelerate this.

The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) has called for more partnerships between the public and private sectors and communities to reduce binge drinking and reinforce the message that it is socially unacceptable. According to a report by IARD, binge drinking fell by 25% between 2005 and 2016 across Europe and Eastern Mediterranean regions.

In 2005, 44% of all European 20- to 24-year-olds were binge drinkers; this has now dropped to 34% in 2016. The report reveals similar statistics across Canada, the USA, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, as 18% fewer people were binge drinking in 2016, compared to 2005.

While data indicates that binge drinking in Australia has dropped by 13% among those aged over 14 years between 2004 and 2016, 58% of adults still believe that binge drinking has increased over the past decade.

Conversely, binge drinking has increased across the Western Pacific region by 14% among 20- to 24-year-olds since 2005, and by 6% in South-East Asia.

Despite the overall declining instances of binge drinking, new research conducted by YouGov for IARD reveals that it remains a concern for many adults, with 51% of 12,000 adults across nine countries believing that binge drinking has increased in their country over the last decade.

In response, IARD is calling for collaboration across industry, government, communities and civil society to further address binge drinking. While the downward trend of binge drinking across many WHO regions is encouraging, it remains an issue to be tackled.

“Successful strategies for preventing binge drinking maximise the unique contributions that different stakeholders can offer through a whole-of-society approach. It takes partners from public, private and civil society sectors to work together to bring further positive change. Together, we can ensure that the positive decline in binge drinking seen in many areas continues to spread,” said Henry Ashworth, CEO of IARD.

To tackle binge drinking, IARD members have worked in partnerships including Responsible Party, How to Drink Properly and Best Bar None.

Image credit: © Jackson

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