Off-trade

Binge-drinkers drop from 28% to 15%

Some 15% of the population (representing 22% of all drinkers here) binge-drink on a typical drinking occasion according to the results of the annual Ipsos/MRBI Healthy Ireland Survey, launched recently by the Department of Health.

 

20% of drinkers binge-drink at least once a week while 37% do so at least once a month. These remain at similar levels to those measured in the 2018 survey.

20% of drinkers binge-drink at least once a week while 37% do so at least once a month. These remain at similar levels to those measured in the 2018 survey.

This compares to 28% (37% of drinkers) back in 2018.

This is the seventh summary of the findings from the Healthy Ireland Survey and adds to the data collected in the previous surveys published from 2015 – 2019.

20% of drinkers binge-drink at least once a week while 37% do so at least once a month. These remain at similar levels to those measured in the 2018 survey.

Men remain more likely than women to binge-drink on a typical drinking occasion (35% to 10% respectively) and younger people remain more likely to do so than older people (31% of those aged under 25 compares with 13% of those aged 65 and older).

The report was launched by the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly TD, the Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health, Well Being and National Drugs Strategy Frank Feighan TD and the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.

The Survey offers a detailed insight into a time interval during which necessary Covid-19 restrictions had a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of the people of Ireland.

 

Periodic consumption

The report found that 66% of people had consumed alcohol in the previous six months, with the figure rising to 70% for those aged 15 to 24. 71% of 25 to 34 year-olds report having done so. At 68% males are the most likely to have done so while those aged 75 and older (47%) are least likely to have consumed alcohol during the same period.

Over half (57%) of those reporting that they’d consumed alcohol in the last six months did so at least once a week, with 33% drinking on multiple days each week.

37% of the population aged 15 and older drink alcohol at least once a week. This compares to 41% in the previous measurement in 2018.

Older drinkers continue to be those who drink most frequently. 62% of drinkers aged 65 and older consumed alcohol at least once a week in the last six months compared to 34% of drinkers aged under 25. Older drinkers are also more likely to drink on multiple days each week (65 and older: 42%, 25 and under: 16%).

Almost two out of every three (61%) men who drank alcohol in the last six months did so at least once a week, with 53% of women drinking this frequently. This eight point gender gap is narrower than the 14 point gap measured in 2018 due to rates of weekly alcohol consumption rising faster among women (eight point increase since 2018) than men (two point increase since 2018).

 

Drink consumption

But 42% of drinkers stated that they were drinking less since the start of the Covid-19 restrictions, with 44% reporting that their drinking had not changed and 13% reporting that they now drink more. The majority of drinkers aged under 35 report a decrease in their alcohol consumption, with 57% of this group saying that the amount they drink is now lower.

A representative sample of 7,454 people aged 15 and older, living in all regions of Ireland, were interviewed for the survey between October 2020 and March 2021.

 

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