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GG
A survey conducted on behalf of the Scottish government has given rise to claims that Scotland is facing a massive under-age drinking timebomb which, unless tackled, will result in huge health and social problems in years to come.

The survey of 37,000 school pupils revealed that more than one-third of 15-year-olds and one-in-seven 13-years-olds admitted that they had taken a drink in the previous week.

The SNP claims that the results reveal the magnitude of the challenge facing the Scottish government as it tries to curb irresponsible drinking. Alex Salmond's SNP has made tackling Scotland's damaging relationship with alcohol one of its flagship policy priorities.

The disturbing figures come as newspaper reports revealed that SNP plans to introduce a minimum pricing policy for alcohol are "almost certain" to face a legal challenge in the courts.

Commenting on the survey, Dr Evelyn Gillan of Alcohol Focus Scotland said:
QUOTE
"The number of young teenagers regularly drinking is concerning not only because of the potential damage to their health, but because of the risky situations they put themselves in when drunk.

Young people are growing up in a world where cheap alcohol is so widely available,” she said.

A young person receiving the average British pocket money of 5.89 can buy eight litres of cider containing almost 34 units of alcohol – more than enough alcohol to kill them. That’s why minimum pricing is so important."

While there is small cause for optimism in the fact that the figures reveal that the total number of teenage drinkers has fallen since its peak in 2002, the survey paints a disturbing picture of children and adolescents vomiting, being taken to hospital, staying off school, fighting and getting in trouble with the police.

The SNP's minimum pricing policy failed to become law last year after facing strong opposition from Labour Party in Scotland.

QUOTE
SALSUS Key Points

Smoking

• Among 13-year-olds, 3% of both boys and girls were regular smokers1. Among 15-year-olds, 13% were regular smokers: 11% of boys and 14% of girls.

• Since peaks in 1996 and 1998, the prevalence of regular smoking has substantially reduced over recent years. Among both 13-year-olds and 15-year-olds, levels are now the lowest they have been since the survey began in 1982.

Drinking

• Forty-four per cent of 13-year-olds and 77% of 15-year-olds have ever had an alcoholic drink. Fourteen per cent of 13 year olds and 34% of 15 year olds reported consuming alcohol in the last week.

• There was a decrease in the proportion of 13-year-olds who had ever had an alcoholic drink: from 52% in 2008 to 44% in 2010. This was also the case, although to a lesser degree, for 15-year-olds (82% in 2008 compared with 77% in 2010).

• There was a increase in the proportion of pupils who had drunk in the last week: from 11% in 2008 to 14% in 2010 among 13-year-olds and from 31% in 2008 to 34% in 2010 among 15-year-olds.

Further information about the survey (including a downloadable summary) can be found here.

GG.
Isobel
What is the legal drinking age in Scotland ?
irrie
Isobel. 18 is the legal age although some places operate a 21 or even 25 limit. Cheers
tarheels
go back 100 years ago , , no modern cars, no modern bars, drugs came on the scene in the 1980s , fast cars, differant life style , more modern, more attractive , nothing to relate to , more more to do things with , BORE'DOM, a big word here dull , no action, a 100 years ago we had to work the fields for crop's to eat, to sell , for the family , these kids are looking at us an saying is this all there is !!! tarheels or rielly
Jupiter
Children of 14 years and over(if my recollection of the Licensing Scot Act is correct) are permitted in licensed premises if accompanied by an adult and are also permitted certain alcoholic drinks.
Re supply and sale of alcohol from off sales premises the age is 18 before a person can legally make a purchase.
I have no doubt the number of children abusing alcohol is increasing and I think it is because of the proliferation of off sales permits given to every corner shop where owners are only interested in making money.
In my locality there is such a shop and also a German supermarket.Now the supermarket is absolutely stringent with their drinks policy.No Id no sale.The small shop is not so particular.
Due to the number of youths drinking in the vicinity I told the shopkeeper to his face that I and other residents knew he was selling alcohol to kids and also told him I was lettering the police and the licensing board which I did.Of course he denied the allegation but it was no surprise a few weeks later the police sent in an under age person to buy booze.The shopkeeper lost his licence for 6 months and the difference about the place was amazing.
It is a shame that youngsters can get alcohol so cheaply and I do not blame the big outlets because they are all very savvy about what the law requires.
Re nuisance drinkers;I would urge anyone witht his problem to contact the police and licensing board especially..in writing...as your letter will be passed by the board to the police for action.
If you can prevent an unscrupulous licensing holder from selling alcohol to children you may well be saving that childs future...and life.
zascot
Great post Jupiter, if more people followed your example then some of these kids would be saved from a life of booze. If the laws were more stringent on liquor outlets then it could be curbed at source.
pumps100
I am sorry but I am not happy about the way this survey has been reported. The Scotsman ran with a Daily Star like headline:-

'One in seven children ‘drinking regularly’

I see the Scotman's sexing up of the survey as Scottish Government spin in relation to gathering support for its 'alcohol minimum pricing' legislation designed to curb Scotland’s alleged binge-drink culture. This is almost certain to face a legal challenge in the courts.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/health/one_in...larly_1_2017665

So back to the headline ' One in seven children 'drinking regularly'. What does this actually mean? What is 'regularly'?

I am grateful to Nigel Hawkes at Straight Statistics for analysing the survey findings in some detail.

The report correctly identifies that one in seven 13 year-olds (14.8% of boys, 13.6% of girls) told the survey that they drank alcohol “last week”. But only 5.6% of boys and 5.4% of girls this age said they drank at least once a week - that is, on a regular basis (e.g about 94% did not!).

Among the older age range – the 15 year-olds, the figures are much higher – more than a third drank “last week” and around one in five once a week – so 20-30% had a drink 'last week'. Again, 70-80% of 15 year-olds did not have a drink.

I think most people would agree that the older the children are it would naturally follow that more of them would be taking a drink.

There was an interesting puzzle in the survey (not flagged up in the newspapers). Most of the tables by age range actually show a decline in drinking however the, what you drank “last week” tables do show an increase.

For example, the number of 13 year-olds drinking at least once a week has fallen from 8.4% of boys and 8.1% of girls in 2008 to 5.6% and 5.4% respectively in 2010. The number of 13 year-olds who have ever had an alcoholic drink alcohol has also fallen, from 52% in 2008 to 44 per cent in 2010. The same trends apply, though less strongly, to 15 year-olds.

If true, this would mean that “last week” drinking among 13 year-old boys in Scotland has risen by 38% over the same period as it has fallen by 40% in the same age group in England. Among 15 year-old boys the rise in Scotland is 9.6 per cent, while the fall in England is 23.7 %. It all sounds unlikely.

There is a clue in the list of caveats in the report. The comparison between the older 2008 study was not carried out on a like-by-like basis. There were fewer children under 12 in the survey and more 15 year-olds. If we accept the premise that drinking, or experimentation with drink, increases with age through adolescent's, the results of the survey are in my opinion biased and skewed.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/health/one_in...larly_1_2017665

Regards

Ian
droschke7
I feel that this problem has more to do with licensing laws than anything else. When I lived in Germany they had completely diferent laws. Kids as you as 14 were allowed in pubs on their own but only allowed soft drinks, from 16 they were allowed beer, as of 18 they were allowed anything (legal). by midnight everyone under 18 had to leave, but the pubs could stay open 23/7 (closing for an hour everyday to clean the place. The result of this was that you'd have pubs opening from 6:00 to 18:00, others from 12:00 to 02:00 and others from 18:00 to 06:00. Result? only drumks ever seen were tourists and Brittish troops based there, and the kids weren't interested in doing something they were allowed to.
ashfield
Very interesting Ian. Whilst not wanting to underestimate or play down the potential harm of young people drinking alcohol, I am unsure what policies could be produced based on these statistics. Are they convinced that the pupils were being wholly truthful when providing responses, what was the nature of the alcohol they were imbibing (wine with their Sunday lunch or fortified wine down the local park), in what areas were the children surveyed, etc.

If the group doing the survey, or the oganisation responsible for it's commission, have a vested interest, the outcome is inevitable. If there is reason to believe underage drinking has reached these proportions then proper reasearch should be conducted by an independent group.
anonymous
QUOTE (Jupiter @ 23rd Dec 2011, 07:22am) *
Due to the number of youths drinking in the vicinity I told the shopkeeper to his face that I and other residents knew he was selling alcohol to kids and also told him I was lettering the police and the licensing board which I did.Of course he denied the allegation but it was no surprise a few weeks later the police sent in an under age person to buy booze.The shopkeeper lost his licence for 6 months and the difference about the place was amazing.

You've hit the nail on the head there Jupiter, I think everybody knows these corner shops have been selling drink to the kids, why don't they just take the licence from them and control the number of licenced outlets.

Did the shopkeeper also get fined, the pubs get huge fines for allowing adults to smoke, a 5-10000 pounds fine and permanent withdrawal of the licence would prove the gov. wanted to tackle the problem rather than using it as an excuse to increase the price and therefore tax revenue.

The other thing I would like to know is why did it have to take a letter to the authorities for action to be taken, can the police not act on crime until somebody complains?

RR
Jupiter
Pumps,I havent read the item but in reality I dont need surveys,reports or anything else for that matter to tell me because I have eyes and see that there is a large number of children drinking.You might be aware Im a retired poloice officer and I saw it then.I confiscated booze,I took drunk kids to hospital,I prosecuted people under the Licensing act.Endemic isnt too strong a word.
I recall my childhood and dont remember alcohol being part of it or of my peers but now it seems par for the course for kids to chip in for a bottle of "voddy or Bucky or 20/20"
Dont be under any illusion drinking in the young has developed in to a major social issue with all the attendant evils asscociated with it.
I would urge all our posters to report it when they see kids drinking or if they have knowledge about where they are getting their hands on it.
Jupiter
red rooster the position with the police now is such that if incidents are not reported in an area the police will not be their.Its sad but thats how it is,so where I live in a very quiet residental suburb the police only patrol if their has been any incidents like a break in to a garage or something of that nature.
The shop concerned had its licence suspended for 3/6 months and was fined.
Re letters to the board,I can tell you from experience that in matters like this the police will always act and when it is from the board they will positively jump through hoops.
anonymous
Jupiter that's a really sad state of affairs and will only get worse as budgets are cut .

Great tip to write to the licencing board, the tendancy is for people to think somebody else will complain, but if you want something to get done you have to do it yourself.

RR
JAGZ1876
QUOTE (pumps100 @ 23rd Dec 2011, 09:40am) *
I am sorry but I am not happy about the way this survey has been reported. The Scotsman ran with a Daily Star like headline:-

'One in seven children ‘drinking regularly’

I see the Scotman's sexing up of the survey as Scottish Government spin in relation to gathering support for its 'alcohol minimum pricing' legislation designed to curb Scotland’s alleged binge-drink culture.

Pumps, i have to disagree with you about the Hootsman's headline.
Rather than supporting the governments alcohol minimum pricing policy they are doing the opposite.

The Main Stream media take a pro unionist stance to such an extent that if the SNP had discovered penicillin yesterday, they and the opposition parties would immediately block it's introduction.

As for the topic i applaud Jupiter's lead by reporting any shop selling alcohol to under age children, we should all be vigilant to these unscrupulous traders.

While this is a serious issue that needs tackled, i take survey's of school children with a pinch of salt, if someone had surveyed me as a 13 year old about drinking or having sex etc, i would have lied through my teeth just to look big in the eye's of my peer's.
pumps100
QUOTE (Jupiter @ 23rd Dec 2011, 11:17am) *
Pumps,I havent read the item but in reality I dont need surveys,reports or anything else for that matter to tell me because I have eyes and see that there is a large number of children drinking.You might be aware Im a retired poloice officer and I saw it then.I confiscated booze,I took drunk kids to hospital,I prosecuted people under the Licensing act.Endemic isnt too strong a word.
I recall my childhood and dont remember alcohol being part of it or of my peers but now it seems par for the course for kids to chip in for a bottle of "voddy or Bucky or 20/20"
Dont be under any illusion drinking in the young has developed in to a major social issue with all the attendant evils asscociated with it.
I would urge all our posters to report it when they see kids drinking or if they have knowledge about where they are getting their hands on it.

Jupiter,

You have misread my intentions if you think I am defending underage drinking. I just don't like people trying to mislead. For example this survey says that 'younger people in Scotland' drink regularly at almost twice the level of those same young people in England. This is nonsense in my opinion.

I'm 54 and we've had underage drinking since I was a boy. The real problem is not the drinking but the consequences of what happens when drink is taken. For young people it is largely anti-social behaviour; for older drinkers domestic violence and so on.

In my opinion the key is education from very early age in alcohol.

We must work towards countering the social conditioning and attitudes which prevail in relation to alcohol. For example, I would ban TV and other forms of advertising which glamorise drink (Budweiser, Bacardi & so on) - they are designed to make it all look so cool, and oh so much fun - rather like the Marlboro' man cigarette adverts. Younger people growing up in this environment are conditioned into social acceptance of alcohol from a very early age. In France alcohol adverts on TV or on the internet are banned.

You could also make a very big difference in anti-social behaviour by simply banning the sale of certain drinks. As a former Policeman you will know of the very high percentage of young offenders who have drunk Buckfast within a few hours of being arrested. This drink is often used as a precursor to an evening out - a caffeine rush so that when more drink is had they don't fall asleep, and go on to commit offences. Cheap cider or '20-20' & superlagers. Ban them or tax them punitively.

Regards

Ian
pumps100
QUOTE (JAGZ1876 @ 23rd Dec 2011, 12:16pm) *
While this is a serious issue that needs tackled, i take survey's of school children with a pinch of salt, if someone had surveyed me as a 13 year old about drinking or having sex etc, i would have lied through my teeth just to look big in the eye's of my peer's.

This is a very good point indeed.

Regards

Ian
Jupiter
I agree with pumps to a certain degree that kids can be prone to exaggeration but on the other hand I have no doubt that alcohol abuse in the young is on the rise.
GG
Ian, I agree with you about the use of the word "regularly" in the Scotsman's headline, To be fair to them (only slightly), Dr Evelyn Gillan of Alcohol Focus Scotland used the word in her quote:

QUOTE
"The number of young teenagers regularly drinking is concerning not only because of the potential damage to their health, but because of the risky situations they put themselves in when drunk. ...

However, the (I assume) scientist was using the term in the general sense, whereas the Scotsman used the term specifically, with no data provided to substantiate their headline. Even if a child had taken a drink within the previous week, we still cannot assume that they are drinking regularly. This is not to trivialise the scale of the problem, but only to say that policies should be based on real evidence, not media hype.

Also, like JAGZ1876, I think we have to take the self-disclosures of children in a school environment with a pinch of salt.

What I find a bit intriguing in the Scotsman's article is the photo of the Health Secretary – quite obviously unflattering (to say the least), yet the overall purpose of the story is to help the SNP with the looming legal chaalenge to the minimum proicing legislation. Maybe the photo editor and the editor don't get on! smile.gif

Thanks all for great replies – a very interesting topic!

GG.
GG
Jupiter, on Tuesday this week I was approached by two boys (abput 14?) outside a local mini-supermarket and they asked me to go in and get them drink for them. I gave them my usual spiel about why they wanted to drink, told them it might ruin their lives, and suggested they go home and save their money for something better. I wanted to tell them to go home and read a book, but that's probably taking it too far!

Their reply, not really surprising or uncommon: "Aw c'mon big man, we've been waiting for ages and we're freezin'!"

I told the shop assistants – women about the boys' mothers ages – and they went outside and moved them on with some choice words. Let's hope they didn't get any alcohol ... on a Tuesday night of all nights!

GG.
GG
Can you imagine how rubbish an experience it would be to be 14 and outiside drinking on a cold, wet December night? And then if they got drunk ... then what? Such a shame to think about it!

GG.
pumps100
QUOTE (Jupiter @ 23rd Dec 2011, 12:42pm) *
... I have no doubt that alcohol abuse in the young is on the rise.


If 'abuse' means the consequences of young people drinking I would tend to agree with you; but I am not inclined to think that there are more underage drinkers now than they were say 40 years ago.

I'll put my hand up. I was an underage drinker from aged about 13 (Kings Park Hotel) and the cost of a pint was in old money so it was pre-February 1971). There was the odd bit of mischief but nothing either me, or my pals, got arrested for regarding any antisocial behaviour.

Ban the Buckfast - you'd see a difference in a matter of days. But they'd probably all move on to methadone; benefit with this is that the crime figures would consequently drop - they would be too stoned to commit any antisocial activities - other than littering outside the chemists.

Regards

Ian
Jupiter
GG what you saw with the youngsters is in part similar to my experience with the under agers.I saw the guy hand over the blue poly bag with the vodka to two adolescents and they were off.It was then I confronted the shopkeeper and told him my intentions.The fact he had his alcoholic drinks licence suspended seems to have done the trick as far as our immediate vicinity is concerned and I would say to anyone with this problem with under age drinking to do the same.
pumps100
I have been ranting on about the Asbo's drink of choice Buckfast. I read again the Scottish governments campaign to bring in the 'alcohol minimum pricing' mechanism. Unless I am mistaken, it would have little effect on Buckfast. It would only have a significant effect on those big cheap bottles of cider.

Reasoning: Buckfast is relatively expensive - I think about 6 for a 70 cl bottle with an alcohol content of 15% ABV (10.5 units). The minimum price being talked about is 45p/unit which equates to 10.5 X 0.45 = 4.72. As Buckie already costs more than this, minimum pricing legislation at this level, would have no effect whatsoever.

I also read that a bottle of Coatbridge's favourite has the equivalent caffeine of 8 cans of coke. Yuk!

Regards

Ian
enrique
huh.gif Reading the comments with great interest, i noticed one went along the lines of pointing out the easy to get alcohol corner shop and yes i would have to agree , but unfortunately kids are also allowed drink in the home by the parents, i had a debate with my son , he has 2 children and since the age of 12 he allowed them a beer under the idea that if he lets them drink in an environment they are comfortable with this will educate them on how to control the amount they drink as they got older , i have to say my sons friends were also under this idea , one time in Spain i noticed a couple of young lads about 9 or 10 come into a bar to watch the football, the dads bought 4 bottles of Becks and gave the lads 2 each while they went and had a look at the footie, i dont know if the younger generation of parents have it right, if or my old fashion belief that you should be nearer 18 before embarking in poisoning your body, are there any other gg members using this modern idium with the kids
JAGZ1876
Enrique, i allowed both my sons now age 20 and 17 small glasses of beer on selected occasions from the ages of around 12 years old, as they got older they would sometimes refuse the offer of a beer.

Now my oldest son goes for a drink occasionally with friends and comes home (in my opinion) relatively sober, unlike myself at his age who would come home staggering and talking gibberish, (no change there then).

My youngest son on the other hand has little or no interest in alcohol, when going out with friends will go to mall's to buy video games or perhaps see a movie.

Tomorrow being Xmas day he will probably accept a can of beer from his old man during dinner, before heading upstairs to his room with a bottle of Irn Bru to play the latest game that Santa Brought him.

Now i don't know if introducing my children to alcohol at a young age has been a good thing or not, it may well just be a coincidence that they have no real interest in alcohol, or as was my intention, to show them that alcohol was normal and they would have no reason to hide in a park or elsewhere to sample this illicit brew.
mlconnelly
I think teaching your kids about alcohol at an early age is a great idea, it takes the mystery out of it. Lets face it as a young teenager, the minute you are told you can't do something, thats the very thing you must do because you know better than everyone else and you can handle it. Educating kids to be sensible about things like alcohol is far more important, in my mind, than any age limit or price imposed.What doesn't make sense to me is that 1 day you're 17 and not allowed to drink but the next day, you're 18 and can drink yourself into oblivion. I also drank underage but once I turn 18 and it was legal, it kinda lost its appeal, although I do still enjoy a wee gin and tonic ot a cheeky wee rioja. Mary rolleyes.gif
glasgow lass
I would not condone kids to drink alcohol in my home or any place, they are too young and it is not healthy for their wee bodies.They are just not ready for that.
pumps100
I think there is a balance to be had regarding setting an example with your own children. This is admirably demonstrated by the last few posts.

I like to think we trod a balanced path with our own two kids now 28 & 25. We had the odd incident when they were growing up but they grew up I think with the right attitude towards alcohol.

Contrast this to friends of ours who had kids of a similar age. They would recant old stories about them growing up- getting 'rat-arse-ed' and such like in front of their own children. They would be very open about everything, including experimentation with the wacky-baccy in the 70's, and even sex. My wife and I had exactly the same upbringing and life experiences as our friends; but we would never ever dream about repeating some of the stuff we would get up to as teenagers.

And did our friends kids grow up OK ? 50-50 here. The eldest has never held down a steady job and drinks to the extreme. He also suffers from depression and has had issues with drugs. The other from what we know is OK.

I think the least said the better about what we did, or did not do, as teenagers is the more careful path to take with our children.

Regards

Ian
Jim D
I honestly believe that the government a highlighting this situation at a time of the year when alcohol is consumed greatly by all age groups. And yes, I believe it is part of their campaign for minimum pricing of alcohol, which I do not agree with.

Only the other week we were highlighting the great work done in export of Scotch whisky! A very strong drink!

I ask myself, where is the PARENTAL CONTROL! We now have society where parents no long assume control of their kids or accept responsibility for their behaviour.

Like Jupiter, I am also a retired police officer, though only in the last 18 months.

The licensing laws have changed, for the better, in recent years. The licensing boards are hammering offsales for selling to under-agers and the police will, as Jupiter pointed out, send in under-agers to "test" purchase alcohol, with a plainclothed officer behind the youngster in the queue. " offsales near where I live were targetted on the same evening and failed the test. They had their licence suspended for 3 months. This lost them 20,000 in revenue! And it is not sited in the towncentre!

I've said this before - If alcohol is such a danger to our society then BAN IT!!!!!!

If smoking is also a massive danger ot our society - BAN IT!

I am both a smoker and I drink alcohol. If they ban it then I would obey the law.

One of the main dangers in our society is drug abuse! I remember when they had a massive publicity campaign when Scotland exceeded 100 drug deaths in a year. It is now nearer 500! What are the Government(s) doing about that! They down-graded some of the drugs from class B, which normally carries a jail sentence, to class C, which usually does not.

How many people in our society are addicted to non-prescribed drugs? I know chemists are making a fortune out of the supplying methadone to the users. So, just maybe, our government should spend our money on other things.
JAGZ1876
QUOTE (Jim D @ 24th Dec 2011, 04:25pm) *
I've said this before - If alcohol is such a danger to our society then BAN IT!!!!!!

If smoking is also a massive danger ot our society - BAN IT!

I am both a smoker and I drink alcohol. If they ban it then I would obey the law.

Alas Jim, banning alcohol would just open another can of worm's, driving it underground and into the hands of criminals just like it did during the prohibition era of the U.S in the twenties.
Alcohol like cigarette's generate billions in taxation for the treasury, yes politicians will pay lip service to the dangers caused by their use, but the reality is the revenues generated far outweigh any concern of risk to the public's health.

Drugs are banned yet users don't seem to have any trouble finding dealers to supply their addiction, so blanket bans seem to have little or no effect.
Far better to keep things out in the open where they can be monitored and regulated. And where does it all end, banning McDonald's, KFC, chip shops, sweetie shops, people should take responsibility for their own actions and welfare.
pumps100
Jim D,

Calm down - away and have a fag and a wee dram. You'll do yourself and injury getting all upset about this topic.

Its not worth it.

Merry Christmas.

Ian
Jim D
LMAO.

Thank you Ian, I just hate political gimmicks. lol

Merry Christmas to you also.
pumps100
I have re-read this thread from the beginning to the end. The Government should be paying us for this debate as if we summarise it, the following could make a difference:-

- target small independent corner shops and make it so that if they get caught selling to underagers the penalties will be so high, as to put them out of business; the big supermarkets are strict so why not have it the same with small shop keepers.

- ban/restrict the sale of certain types of drink; buckfast, big cheap bottles of cider, superlagers, alcopops.

- ban TV and other forms of advertising that glam up alcohol drinking.

- educate children from an early age as to alcohol awareness. Do you remember 'Don't drop Litter' or the 'Green Cross Code' - these were effective and lasted through to adulthood and beyond.

For alcohol we need to be thinking along the same lines as tobacco e.g. think of what was acceptable 20yrs ago to now re tobacco

Regards

Ian
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