One in three New Zealanders drink dangerously through their entire lives â" study
New Zealand One in three New Zealanders drink dangerously through their entire lives â" study
Research disputes that hazardous drinking is a phase, usually associated with the teens and early twenties
One third of New Zealanders are drinking alcohol at hazardous levels for their entire lives, a new report has found, challenging the myth that dangerous drinking habits ar e usually outgrown after people leave their party years.
The study was conducted by Massey Universityâs School of Health Sciences and the University of Aucklandâs Centre for Addiction Research, and disputes that hazardous drinking is a phase, usually associated with peopleâs teens and early twenties.
It found 33% of New Zealanders were âhazardous drinkersâ by their 20s and continued dangerous drinking patterns for most of their adult lives.The town saying 'no' to more alcohol: residents of Murupara fight off-licence Read more
Transitioning between hazardous and non hazardous drinking patterns was uncommon, the report found, with drinking habits, once established, largely becoming a âstable traitâ.
âThe idea that younger drinkers will eventually âmatureâ out of risky drinking when they get older is wrong,â said research co-leader Dr Andy Towers.
âOur results suggest that, for the most part, we have q uite stable drinking patterns across the lifespan â" if youâre a hazardous drinker in your 20s then you are likely to be a hazardous drinker in your 60s.â
Hazardous drinking is established by a quantity or pattern of alcohol consumption that puts drinkers at risk of immediate harm (such as blackouts or hospitalisation) or long-term health issues.
The research drew on information provided by a longitudinal study of 800 subjects aged 50 plus, and allowed researchers to drill into intimate details of peopleâs lives that could have influenced their later drinking patterns including their home life as children, work history, health and relationships .
Risk factors identified by the study for becoming a heavy drinker included being male, starting drinking young, growing up in a poor household and having a parent who was a heavy drinker.
New Zealand has earned a reputation as a binge-drinking nation. A third of all police incidents in the country involve alcohol and on the weekends 60-70% of all emergency room admissions are related to alcohol.
âIf our results indicate that drinking patterns donât change much across our lives, then we need to ensure young Kiwis donât start drinking like this in the first place.â said Dr Towers.
âThis means using approaches that we know help to reduce rates of drinking and harms, such as increasing the price of cheap alcohol, reducing alcohol accessibility and advertising, and banning alcohol sponsorship of sports that children play.âTopics
- New Zealand
- Asia Pacific
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