Irish adults would like to drink less alcohol, research shows

Irish adults would like to drink less alcohol, research shows

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  • Over 90% of Irish adults attach considerable importance to raising awareness around low-risk guidelines for alcohol consumption
  • In 2018 so far, over 25,000 people have used the Drinkaware online Drinks Calculator to monitor their intake
  • 70% of Irish adults believe drinking to excess is ‘just a part of Irish culture’

Research commissioned by Drinkaware revealed that Irish adults have become much more aware of how alcohol affects their health and wellbeing (75%). The research, conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes, also highlighted that 1 in 3 people want to drink less but can struggle to do so, particularly once they begin drinking. Drinkaware are reminding people that reducing how much you drink is easier than you may think. Ahead of St. Patrick’s Day and the March Bank Holiday weekend, Drinkaware have some simple changes people can make to reduce their alcohol consumption:

  • Alternate each drink with a glass of water to reduce the dehydration associated with alcohol
  • Always use a standard drink measure: never free-pour spirits or wine
  • Never top up your wine glass – always finish one glass before refilling
  • Downsize your drink by choosing lower alcohol beer and wine
  • Avoid rounds – you may end up drinking more than you intended.

Niamh Gallagher, CEO of Drinkaware, said:

“While we are encouraged by many of the positive findings in our research, we know that long weekends and public holidays create more opportunities for drinking alcohol. In many cases, this can result in people drinking more than usual and above the low-risk guidelines, often without intending to. We each have our part to play in changing how we use alcohol in this country, and in creating a country where alcohol is not misused. Any kind of long-term behaviour change is difficult and it is clear that there is still work to do in this area.

We urge people to check out the simple tools available on the Drinkaware website over the long weekend. These tools provide people with important feedback on their habits as well as practical ways to reduce their intake, and we encourage people to monitor and track their alcohol use in the same way as they might monitor calories, sugar and exercise. It is clear we are becoming more aware of how excessive drinking affects our health and wellbeing and Drinkaware will continue our efforts in working with parents, communities and frontline organisations to keep up this pace of change.”

1000 Irish adults aged 18 and over were interviewed as part of the research, which revealed worrying attitudes towards excessive drinking:

  • 70% believe drinking to excess is part of Irish culture
  • 43% believe drinking to excess is ‘no big deal’
  • 75% of Irish adults aged 18 years+ indicate they have become much more aware of how excessive drinking affects their health and wellbeing
  • When asked where they get information about alcohol, 40% of Irish people named Drinkaware as the number one trusted source of information – without prompt.

If you decide to drink as part of your St Patrick’s Day celebrations, get the facts you need to make informed decisions about alcohol and ensure you can enjoy the day safely. As always, we are encouraging people to follow the HSE low-risk guidelines which recommends at least two alcohol-free days per week.

Read the full research report