Under-age pub drinking and illegal drug use: implications for a progressive social and health policy

Authors: Pritchard, C., Cotton, A. and Cox, M.

Journal: Journal of Wine Research

Volume: 4

Pages: 95-107

ISSN: 1469-9672

DOI: 10.1080/09571269308717956


In a sample of 926 fourth and fifth year comprehensive school students, 38% were public house under-aged drinkers. This drinkers' group's behaviour and social characteristics were compared with those of their non-under-age drinking peers. The drinkers had nearly three times the level of solvent misuse (13% compared with 5%), three times the soft drug misuse (17% compared with 5%) and four times the involvement with hard drugs (8% compared with 2%). The drinkers were significantly more involved with other problematic behaviour and were found to score higher on all negative social indexes, including parents who smoked. Despite the sample's relatively accurate knowledge about drugs and HIV infection, the drinkers scored less well on these and other HIV-related issues. An extrapolation of the results suggests that a significant number of adolescents may be involved in risk behaviour.

Source: Manual