Why a quarter of young people in Leeds are worried about their drinking

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One in four young people in Leeds have admitted to being concerned about their alcohol consumption.

A survey commissioned by Leeds City Council, Forward Leeds and NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group found that a quarter of 19-25 year olds are concerned about their drinking habits.

A quarter of 18-25 year olds in Leeds are worried about their drinking according to the No Regrets campaign

A quarter of 18-25 year olds in Leeds are worried about their drinking according to the No Regrets campaign

The data was compiled as part of the No Regrets campaign which focuses on making young people aware of how much they are drinking.

The data came from a mixture of online surveys, research groups and street research across Leeds.

More than nine out of ten people who took part in the survey said they drank alcohol and half of those people said the reason that they drink is to get drunk.

Pre-drinking, which is when people begin drinking alcohol before they go out, remains popular among young people.

Eighty-eight per cent of drinkers said that they drink before going out.

Bill Owen, early intervention and prevention manager at Forward Leeds, said this is now common place.

He said: “It can be expensive to drink in the city centre now so we are seeing young people drinking spirits before they head out.

“It’s concerning because people tend to drink quicker at home and when they are self-pouring measurements, it’s easy to lose control. Especially if they taste like a soft drink.”

Mr Owen said this kind of alcohol consumption can mean people ending drinking more than they intended to. This can lead to risk taking behaviours that they later regret.

He warns that this could impact their finances, career and lead them to establish behaviours with alcohol that can affect them later on.

The study found that the main reason young adults do choose to drink more responsibly is having a job.

It also found that parents are also the primary motivators for responsible drinking.

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Dr Gordon Sinclair, clinical chair of NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group and a Headingley GP, said: “Changing your drinking habits early can mean better health when you’re older.

“Long-term alcohol misuse can increase your risk of serious health conditions including heart disease, stroke and liver disease.

“Drinking less and making small changes can make a huge difference for your short-term and long-term health.”

"If you’re a young person concerned about your drinking, I highly recommend visiting the No Regrets website to see where you can get support, or visit your GP.”

Mr Owen said: “The campaign is not about telling people to stop drinking. We know it’s a big part of the culture and people just wouldn’t want to engage.

“We want to make people aware about what they’re drinking, to be responsible and know that help is there if they ever need it.”

For more information on how to access support visit the website www.noregretsleeds.co.uk
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