Children who have had a Drink

Just before the end of last year, the Scottish Government published the Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS) alcohol report for 2018 which showed among all groups the proportion of pupils who have ever had an alcoholic drink has increased since the last survey in 2015. Drinking is also on the increase in all groups except 15-year-old girls. In addition, there has been an increase in the proportion of pupils who had ever been drunk, except for 15-year-old boys.

Commenting on these figures, Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland said “After a number of years in which we saw reductions in children and young people's drinking, it is disappointing to see increases in the number of 13- and 15-year olds who report ever having drunk alcohol, and the number of those who have been drunk in 2018 compared to 2015.”

Alison continued “The attitudes and behaviours of our young people are a clear symbol of a wider issue: our children are growing up in an environment saturated with positive messages about alcohol, and drinking has become a normal part of our everyday lives."

These sentiments were echoed by John Hamilton, chairman at Kirkcaldy-based FASS (Fife Alcohol Support Service) who believes it’s a very similar situation in Fife. He commented “Children are growing up in households in which excessive consumption of alcohol is a normal way of life. They are constantly exposed to this.”

John Hamilton concluded by saying "It's a huge social problem, but we must be positive, FASS counsellors have had some remarkable successes in our day-to-day work with adult drinkers in Fife, working hard to combat the problems of alcohol and all its related issues.”

If you have any such problems with alcohol, then contact FASS for help on 01592-206200 – it can really make a huge difference!