Teenage drinking on the decline in Stockport

By Brendan McFadden, Reporter

The number of teenage drinkers in Stockport is declining, according to recent figures released by Trading Standards North West.

The 2011 survey on 14 to 16-year-olds released this week shows that school-children drinking alcohol every week has halved to about one in ten.

It also says those who drink more than twice a week has dropped to one in ten, while more young people say they do not drink at all.

Stockport Council’s licensing and Trading Standards and the police say the reduction is in part due to an improved partnership between the organisations, which has seen a crackdown on the selling of alcohol to underage youths.

Mrs Janet Timms, whose daughter attends Stockport Academy said: “I think this is great news, it shows that the police and trading standards are having a good affect.

“A few years ago it was far easier for young people to get hold of alcohol but now shopkeepers are being much more stricter by asking if young people can show identification if they look under 25 and it’s having a great effect.”

“A lot of teenagers like to drink, and there’s a lot of pressure for them to do that from their friends, and, because they are so naive, they don’t realise the damage it can cause their bodies.

“I hope the number of drinking teens will fall even more. There is so many better things that young people can do with their time that will make them just as happy such a sports, exercise or joining a youth club.”

These figures are supported by new Information released from a national survey from the NHS Information Centre 2010 on teens drinking, smoking and taking drugs, which was taken over 7,296 pupils from 246 schools.

Councillor Mark Weldon, Stockport Council’s Executive Member for Communities, said: “It is heartening to see that fewer school-aged children in Stockport buy alcohol compared to a few years ago. The council works closely with the police and licensees to crack down on under-age alcohol sales. Most licensees adopt a responsible attitude, and we take strong action against those few who do sell alcohol to children.”   

However, this news has been opposed by a spokeswoman for alcoholic help group, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) who believe the surveys are an inaccurate way to measure drinking patterns of teenagers.

She said: “I don’t believe that statistics are an accurate way to measure drinking at all.”

“The survey can’t prove the amount every teenager in the area is drinking less –  it’s impossible to be 100% accurate as with a lot of surveys because they only look at a certain number of sources.

”I do agree though that if we can stop young children drinking then we can reduce alcoholics because the younger you are then the better chance there is to stop it.”

”Alcoholism is an illness that can affect people of all ages and it’s important that we can try and reduce the risk of that at a young age.”

For help and advice about dealing with alcoholism, visit


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