A desk review of published evidence on the associated risks of underage drinking, used to inform the Underage Drinking campaign launched in November 2014.
Sources of the evidence used in the poster advertising:
Being drunk just once aged 13. Twice as likely to have unprotected sex. (Mann et al, 2009)
Alcohol use aged 13-14 increases the risk of unprotected sex
Data: Those who had been drunk at least once aged 13-14 were twice as likely to report not using a condom at first sex (OR = 2.0) and to report not using contraception at first sex (OR = 2.2.) than those who had not been drunk aged 13-14. They were also 3x more likely to report having sex before 16.
Notes: Reanalysis of a survey of 14,089 English and Scottish pupils, with follow up.
Being drunk, just once, under 16 years old. 85% more likely to be involved in violence. (Bellis et al, 2009)
A survey of 9,833 15-16 year olds in North West England in 2008.
Increased risk of involvement in youth violence-as victims or perpetrators
It shows that binge drinking (5+ drinks/session) even once raises risk of being involved in violence while drunk by 85%. (OR = 1.85 for those who binge drink less than once/month vs. those who never binge drink.)
Reference: Bellis et al (2009). Teenage drinking, alcohol availability and pricing: a cross-sectional study of risk and protective factors for alcohol-related harms in school children. BMC Public Health, 9, 380. Downloaded from http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/9/380
Sources of the additional statistics used in the radio advertising:
Being drunk, just once, under 16 years old. 58% more likely to suffer a serious injury. (Jiang et al, 2008)
This is based on data from Canada. Based on survey of 7031 students aged 11-15 in 2001/2. Measures: Frequency of drinking (<1/week; 2-4 times/week; 5+times/week); Ever been drunk (Never, Once, 2-3 times, 4+ times). Serious injury = injuries which led to: (1) hospital admission overnight; or (2) missed at least 1 full day of school or usual activities; or (3) internal injury requiring operation.
Those who had been drunk once had a 58% increased chance of serious injury; drunk 2-3 times = 47%; drunk 4+ times = 74%. (OR 1.58, 1.47, 1.74 respectively).
Children who drink at 13 are more likely to get worse grades or be expelled. (Ellickson et al, 2003; Viner and Taylor, 2007)
Underage drinking linked with increased risk of poor grades, truancy, suspension and dropping out of education (Ellickson et al, 2003).
Longitudinal survey of US school pupils over several waves. N=6338 at grade 7 (aged 12-13, 1985); N=4265 at grade 12 (aged 17-18, 1990); and N=3369 at age 23 (aged 23, 1995). Survey measured alcohol and drug use as well as problem behaviours and school/work performance.
Alcohol use was defined as: Non-drinkers (0 drinks in last 12 months); Experimenters (<3 drinks in last 12 months, 0 in last month); Drinkers (3+ drinks in past year or drink in past month).
Drinkers were significantly more likely than non-drinkers to: skip school (61.7% vs 44.7%), get worse grades (31.6% vs 20.5%) be suspended (16.9% vs 8.4%) or drop out (26.7% vs 4.3%).