Over half of the Irish kids who initiated alcohol use at 13 years had gotten it either from parents or from home, according to a new report by the Health Research Board (HRB).

According to the report among children who started using alcohol at the age of 13 years,

  • 42% were first offered alcohol products by parents;
  • 10% took the alcohol from their homes;
  • Teenage girls were more likely to be offered alcohol by a parent or guardian than teenage boys; and
  • The order of popularity of types of alcohol among teens were liquor, followed by cider, and then alcopops.

The report reviewed recent studies into Irish alcohol consumption patterns. Overall the report found that across the past five years there has been no notable decrease in alcohol consumption. Ireland still remains one of the countries with very high alcohol use. However, compared to the 1990’s alcohol use among teenagers is decreasing.

Anne Doyle, co-author of the report said parents giving their children alcohol runs the danger of normalizing alcohol in children’s lives. This in turn leads to heavy and high-risk use of alcohol products later on in life. For example, one recent study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found that parents offering alcohol to children led them to develop binge alcohol problems more than children who were not offered alcohol by their parents.

This is problematic as the World Health Organization reports alcohol harm among Irish youth is already high. Among 15 to 19 year olds who use alcohol in Ireland, almost two thirds (59.3%) of boys and one fifth of girls (21.1%) binge on alcohol. Alcohol products take the lives of 21.7% Irish teenagers between 15 to 19 years – a higher death toll than in other European countries.

© WHO Europe Alcohol Country Factsheets 2019

Source Website: The Irish Times