Binge drinking is on the increase amongst young people in the existing European Union (EU), the European economic Area and countries that are becoming members in May, according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.
The EU agency noted that the proportion of 15- to 16-year-olds indulging in binge drinking (consuming five or more drinks in a row) rose from 47 to 57% in Ireland during the late 1990s and from 37% to 50% in Norway.
The report added that binge drinking was also common amongst this teenage group in the 10 eastern and southern EU accession countries, where “laws intended to protect young people are poorly enforced.”
In almost all these countries, nearly two-thirds of 15- to 16-year-olds admit having been drunk at least once. In the existing EU, between 36% (Portugal) and 89% (Denmark) of this age group said they had been drunk.