Youth Exposed to Harm from Other’s Alcohol Use
A new study has found that youth are exposed to substantial harm from others’ alcohol use, including assault and sexual harassment.
The Australian research, published in the latest issue of Public Health Research and Practice, involved nearly 3500 teens who consume alcohol heavily. The research found that because of others’ alcohol use,
- 71% of females aged between 14 and 19 years reported unwanted sexual advances from someone who was consuming alcohol;
- 41% of females reported being harassed or bothered at a party;
- 33% females said they experienced fear as a result of others’ alcohol use;
- 34% of males reported being harassed;
- 47% males were given unwanted sexual attention;
- 20% males reported being in fear;
- Both sexes also reported either being verbally abused by someone who was intoxicated or being pushed or shoved.
Of all drugs in society, in terms of harm, alcohol by far is the most harmful,” said Dr Nicki Jackson, director of Alcohol Healthwatch, as per Newshub.
According to Dr. Jackson, teens increasingly experiencing alcohol related issues can be traced back 20 years when the alcohol use age was lowered to 18 years. Stating that 1 in 8 teens binge on alcohol, Ms. Jackson emphasized the importance of policy measures aimed at reducing alcohol harm.
Alcohol control policy failure in New Zealand
According to data from the Ministry of Health, alcohol consumption is increasing in New Zealand.
- The number of 18 to 24-year olds who consume six or more units of alcohol in one sitting has increased from 16.5% to 21.1%.
- The number of New Zealanders who consume alcohol has increased from 78.7% to 80.3%.
It is evident that current alcohol control policy in New Zealand is not working and needs to be strengthened urgently. As IOGT International previously reported, it is 10 years since the New Zealand Law Commission reviewed the alcohol laws in the country. Yet the recommendations from the review have been ignored by successive governments over the decade.
The Alcohol Sale and Supply Act passed in 2012 was only a watered down version of the Law Commission report and has not worked to effectively regulate the alcohol industry and market – as evidenced by the increasing consumption and harm. The Act gives power to local councils to control alcohol within their jurisdiction. However, this has not worked properly since well-funded Big Alcohol invests heavily to attack public health policy making by councils.
Earlier in the year Justice Minister Andrew Little said he wanted the laws reviewed within a year or two.