Adult Drinking Patterns Survey in Northern Ireland 2013

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Results from the fifth Adult Drinking Patterns Survey were published today (19 August 2014).

The survey was conducted between 1 October 2013 and 30 November 2013 across a sample of private households in Northern Ireland. The last survey was carried out in 2011.

The report presents information on the amount of alcohol the respondents consumed, when, where and what they drank, who they drank with, and those who reported binge and problem drinking.

In addition, for the first time, respondents were asked questions on their attitude to minimum unit pricing.

Key Findings

dn_screenThe main findings of the report are as follows:

*  Almost three-quarters of respondents (73%) drank alcohol (similar to previous years).

*  A larger proportion of males (76%) than females (70%) drank alcohol.

*  Younger adults (18-29 years) were more likely to drink than older adults (60-75 years) – 82% compared with 58%.

*  The most common alcoholic drinks consumed by males were beer (70%), wine (35%) and spirits (27%), while it was wine (64%), spirits (30%) and beer (19%) for females.

*  Two-thirds of respondents (65%) who drank alcohol in the week prior to the survey had consumed it at home, while one-fifth drank either in the pub (20%) or in restaurants (17%).

*  Almost one-third of male respondents (29%) and two-fifths of female respondents (42%) did not exceed the recommended daily drinking levels during the week prior to the survey.

*  The proportion of male drinkers (13%) that exceeded the recommended daily limits on three or more days in the previous week was more than double that of female drinkers (6%).

*  Almost one-third of those respondents (31%) who drank in the week before the survey had engaged in at least one binge drinking session with males (35%) more likely to do so than females (27%).

*  CAGE question analysis (see notes below) indicated that 11% of those who drank in the week prior to the survey were likely to have a problem with alcohol.

*  Almost three-fifths of males (57%) and two-thirds of females (69%) who consumed alcohol in the week prior to the survey considered themselves to be light drinkers.

*  Two-thirds of respondents (68%) had heard of minimum unit pricing of alcohol prior to the survey.

*  Three-fifths of respondents (60%) were in favour of minimum unit pricing.

*  Of all respondents that drank alcohol, 4% stated that they would drink a lot less if a minimum unit price for alcohol was set at 40p, which compared with 17% at 70p per unit.

*  For problem drinkers (see notes below), 6% would drink a lot less if a minimum unit price was set at 40p, which compared with 25% if a minimum unit price was set at 70p.

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