Health consequences do not stop students from drinking, study shows

Most students would not change their drinking habits due to an awareness of medical consequences, new research has shown.

Only nine per cent of students would reduce their consumption of alcohol for medical or health reasons, according to a study conducted by The Irish Society of Gastroenterology.

Sport participation was the predominant reason for cutting back on alcohol intake, with 29 per cent of students saying that they would reduce the amount of alcohol they drink for that reason.

Cost caused 21 per cent of students to cut back on alcohol and exam preparation led 19 per cent of students to reduce their intake.

One of the authors of the report, consultant hepatologist Dr Orla Crosbie said: “While we can increase education about the dangers of alcohol consumption, when it comes down to the crunch, people do respond to cost, as the study shows.”

Out of all the students that took part in the study, 96 per cent consumed alcohol.

The study found that students spend an average of €20 per week on alcohol. It also found that students drink an average of 6 drinks on a night out too,.

Irish drinkers aged between 18 and 29 were found to be the heaviest drinkers, with 40 per cent saying that they binge drink on a weekly basis. The data for the report was collected by first year students in University College Cork.

Crosbie is calling for the introduction of legislation to restrict the availability and promotion of alcohol and for a minimum unit price.

“Cheap drinks promotions for students, which are a regular feature of Irish college life, should be banned under legislation,” she said.

Alcohol-related deaths decreased by 32 per cent within one year of the introduction of such legislation in Canada.

The Union of Students in Ireland launched an alcohol awareness campaign that highlights the mental impact of harmful drinking at the beginning of this month.

Laura Colgan


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