According to a new report by the ‘Bulletin épidémiologique hebdomaire’, 59% of students in their first year of the French college system say they have tasted alcohol. This figure increases to 83% three years later up to 93% by the time they are 18.
The first alcoholic drinks consumed are cider and champagne. From 16, students start drinking beer and spirits. 17% of 14-year-olds claim to have already been drunk, for 18-year-olds the figure is 69%. There appears to be a particularly sharp rise in drinking between the ages of 13 and 16. Girls and high achieving students drink less than others. Students whose parents have less than a high school education drink less than those with parents who have completed higher levels of studies. Alcohol consumption was stable for young people between 2007 and 2010, the date of the study, except for 18-25 year olds and women, for whom repeated drunkenness has doubled.