Danish youth under pressure to drink alcohol

Almost 50 percent of Danish youth have felt pressured to drink more than they’ve wanted to

According to a new survey, almost a quarter (24 percent) of all Danes over 18 who drink alcohol have felt pressured to drink more alcohol than they’ve wanted to.

The survey, compiled by YouGov for Metroxpress newspaper, also showed that the figure shoots up to 42 percent when only looking at young people aged 18-29.

“It comes with the alcohol culture we have in connection with, for instance, social gatherings,” Johan Damgaard Jensen, the head of anti-alcohol organisation Alkohol og Samfund, told Metroxpress. “In these settings, it can be difficult not to drink alcohol.”

“You almost require a plausible explanation as to why you’re not drinking, like being pregnant, an elite athlete or driving the car home. It can be tough to have other reasons for not drinking.”

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Taboos and peer pressure
Jensen contends that another reason is that it is taboo to have a problem with alcohol, while young people often feel pressure by their peers to drink more in order to fit in.’

“Research shows that young people think that their friends drink more than they actually do. Therefore the youths drink more in the belief that they are following the others,” said Dan Orbe, a spokesperson for the centre for young substance abusers Center for Unge og Misbrug.