New Survey Shows Drinking Among 16-Year-Olds on Rise

young czech alcohol consumption

Czechs have long been the reigning world champions in beer consumption. Now it appears that pedigree has spread to teen use of alcohol…

The European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) has found that 95% of 16-year-olds in the Czech Republic tried beer or hard liquor at least one time, compared to a European average of 79%.

Nonetheless, asked if they had ever drunk alcohol, 82 percent of students said yes. This means Czech’s rates remain higher than the European average.

When asked about alcohol consumption in the past 30 days, 79% of Czech students said they’d had a drink, well above the European average of 57%.

Since the early 2000s, a continuous decline in alcohol use among adolescents from the Western European and Scandinavian countries was recorded. However, the widespread decrease was not equally present in all countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

In the Czech Republic, a continuous increase in adolescent alcohol use between 1995 and 2011 was documented, with no signs for a decline. This increasing trend was apparent, particularly among the Czech adolescent girls.

Data is collected every four years from 15- to 16-year-old students using an anonymous questionnaire. In 2019, just under 100,000 students partici­pated in the study on a European level.

ESPAD has been conducted since 1995 and repeated every four years. Many hope that by the next inception enough will have been done by the government for the numbers to have improved.

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