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Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
David Jones/PA Wire/Press Association Images
# Underage Drinking
Half of students admit to drinking before the age of 15 - survey
One in five respondents admitted to having sex while drunk and being unable to remember it afterwards.

A NATIONWIDE SURVEY has revealed that almost 90 per cent of students admit to underage drinking.

The survey of 1,450 students across the country showed that 74 per cent of college students had been served alcohol while underage in off-licences and supermarkets, according to the Student Marketing Network.

More than 60 per cent agreed they were more likely to engage in sexual activity with a stranger while drunk, and one in five respondents admitted to having sex while drunk and being unable to remember it afterwards. Some 37 per cent said they had had unprotected sex while drunk and more than 50 per cent admitted to engaging in unprotected oral sex after drinking.

More than 16 per cent of respondents said they had to take emergency contraception after having unprotected sex while intoxicated.

They survey also found that almost 50 per cent of young people had first drunk alcohol before the age of 15, with 55 per cent getting drunk before the age of 16. Only 11 per cent of respondents said they waited until they were 18 before drinking.

Most young people (73 per cent) said family and friends influenced their choice of drink, 18 per cent said they were swayed by special promotions, and just 3 per cent said advertising influenced them.

The majority of respondents (83 per cent) said friends influenced their drinking habits and the same number said they funded their drinking habits with a job.

“The survey shows that students are not getting enough information on the effect that binge drinking and unprotected sex has on their long-term health,” said Colman Byrne, managing director of Student Marketing Network. ”

If more information was readily available, and if students were educated from an earlier age on these effects we could see a dramatic difference in results. The government desperately need to overhaul their outdated and inefective strategy in these critically important areas.”

Reading: Shatter willing to consider pre-labelled bottles to curb under-age drinking>

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