Nearly half of junior cycle students in Ireland say they have ‘no intention of drinking’ following their alcohol education lessons at school.
Although Ireland has a reputation as a heavy drinking nation, we are actually not amongst the worst offenders when it comes to excessive binging throughout Europe.
However, there is still an issue regarding over-consumption of alcohol and the health problems that come with it.
Educating children about the dangers of alcohol is key to shaping their future behaviour.
Drinkaware conducted a three-year study of almost 500 students at Maynooth University to gauge the attitudes of young people towards alcohol.
It found that 47% of junior cycle students (aged 12 to 15) had ‘no intention of drinking’ after going through alcohol education.
That is a significant increase on the 30% of students who said they had ‘no intention’ of drinking prior to attending the classes.
The survey also found that the alcohol education was having a slight impact on the attitudes of junior cycle students.
Even amongst those who had not decided to rule out drinking alcohol altogether, 28% said they would delay drinking until they were older, compared to 25% prior to the classes.
However, the issue is far from resolved. Of the students that admitted they do drink, some showed signs of engaging in harmful drinking and developing a bad relationship with alcohol.