In 2016, an ESPAD report found that Danish teens aged 15-16 were more often intoxicated than their European peers. And despite some progress since then, the old trend seems to have returned.
A new report (here in Danish) from the Sundhedsstyrelsen health authority shows that an increased number of Danish teens are getting drunk compared to 2014.
In fact, the report showed that half of all 15-year-old boys tried to get drunk several times in 2018, and a quarter drink alcohol every week.
“Actually, we were on a good run and 15-year-olds weren’t drinking as often and starting to drink alcohol early. But it looks as if it’s going in the wrong direction again, and that’s a shame,” Morten Grønbæk, the head of the national institute of public health, told DR Nyheder.
The report showed that 84 percent of 15-year-olds drank alcohol in 2018, up from 77 percent from 2014, while the trend was similar for girls – up from 74 to 82 percent. Half of the boys had been intoxicated at least twice last year, as had 38 percent of the girls.
Problems later in life
Grønbæk contended that parents need to become better at enforcing agreements and rules with the youngsters.
The report points out that young people who drink too much have an increased risk of being involved in traffic accidents, getting into fights and having unprotected sex, while other studies point to how early drinking leads to alcohol-related problems later in life.
Finally, because the brains of teenagers are not fully developed, alcohol consumption can damage brains more than that of people who are older.
Overall, the report showed that most 11 to 15-year-olds are thriving mentally and socially, and most behave responsibly in regards to managing their health – although overweight girls are the most unhappy.