Drink raises risk of harm for young, ministry says

NZ Herald Oct 14, 2009

Young people are more at risk than other groups of harm related to drinking alcohol, a Ministry of Health survey says. The Alcohol Use in New Zealand report issued yesterday said Maori men and women, Pacific men, and people living in poorer areas were also likely to suffer harm from their own or others’ drinking. Nearly 7000 people aged between 16 and 64 were asked about how often they drank, whether they had suffered harm related to drinking and if they had sought any help about their drinking.

Director of Public Health Mark Jacobs said 85 per cent of respondents had drunk alcohol in the past year and while many drank in moderation, it was common to drink large amounts on “drinking occasions”. People aged 18 to 24 were likely to drink large amounts, of more than six standard drinks for men or more than four for women on one occasion. People in that age group experienced higher levels of harm from their drinking and other people’s drinking than people in other age groups.