By Deborah Condon
Irish men drink three times as much alcohol as Irish women and almost half binge drink at least once a week, the results of a major new study into Ireland's drinking culture have revealed.
The study compared Ireland's drinking habits with those of six other European countries known as the ECAS countries; Finland, Sweden, Germany, Britain, France and Italy.
Researchers found that Irish drinkers consume 12.1 litres of pure alcohol per year, which is almost twice the level reported in most of the ECAS countries, the only exception being Britain, with nine litres.
Irish men drink around three times as much as women and are also less likely to abstain from alcohol.
The study found that a drinking occasion in Ireland involves binge drinking more often than in any of the ECAS countries.
Almost half of men (48%) and 16% of women binge drink at least once a week. The corresponding figures for Britain, which has the highest level of binge drinking among the ECAS countries is 38% for men and 12% for women.
"When frequency of binge drinking occasions are related to the overall number of drinking occasions, the results show that out of 100 drinking events, 58 end up in binge drinking for men and 30 for women", the study found.
These results suggest that in Ireland, binge drinking is the norm among men and occurs in about a third of the drinking occasions of women. However among both men and women, binge drinking is most common in the youngest age group and declines with age, the researchers said.
The study also highlighted the fact that there are more problems per drinker in Ireland. Irish men have higher rates of acute adverse problems in comparison to the other countries, with 32% 'having regretted things said or done after drinking' and 11.5% having 'got into a fight' - this is three times the average. Other problems include adverse consequences with work/studies and problems with their home life.
Female drinkers also experience relatively high rates of adverse consequences, with a high prevalence (22%) reporting 'having regretted things said or done after drinking'. Fights and accidents among Irish female drinkers were over twice the average, compared to the other countries.
The results of this study were published by the Department of Health to coincide with the launch of the final phase of the Government's national alcohol awareness campaign, 'Think before you drink - less is more'.
The study was carried out by Dr Ann Hope, national alcohol policy advisor at the Department of Health and Mats Ramstedt of the Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs in Stockholm, Sweden.
On the matter of our unflattering reputation for drink, maybe the smoking ban will result in less pubs and less drinkers as most may stay home and socialise
yeh but they'll still be drinking at home. Just because they are not in the pub doesn't mean you can't get langers in your sittingroom!
the so called binge drinking in ireland, is the result of a study in relation to EU guidelines , which when you think of it are a load of crap , since we joined the EU, we have been insulted and manipulated into believing that we are actually EU, citizens.the binge drinking is just one of the obsenities that we have to put up with , 4 pints is the EU, EQUVILINT of a drink binge .GOD ALMIGHTY 4 pints is just the start of a night out , for gods sake.this is what the EU, is doing to us irish people. they are killing our tradition and our heritage. no one is speaking out about it. so com on lest drink ourselfes legless and stuff the EU.
Liam did it ever occur to you that binge drinking is the cause of so much of the violence that goes on in our streets after closing time? It is not for the EU that we should change our drinking habits, but for ourselves, and our health service. If you go into the A&E dept of any hospital on a w/e night you will see many drunken, angry and abusive people who wouldn't even be in A&E only for the amount of drink they have consumed. I'm no angel myself and have had my own 'getting pissed' nights out, but I can safely say i have never been so drunk as to wake up next morning not remembering how I got home or anything. We need to change our own habits, this has really nothing got to do with the EU. I was on a bus the other day in dublin and overheard two girls in their late teens/early 20's talking about a night out. One of their friends had fallen down a whole flight of concrete stairs and smashed her two front teeth in to her bottom lip, she has lost her teeth and her lip is swollen and horrible looking & she can't talk......all this because she was off her trolley on alcohol. Sounds like a fun night out...I rest my case
Perhaps it's worth remembering for Liam and others that 4 pints is 8 units of alcohol. The recommended safe amount per week is 14 units for women and 21 units for men
pubs should close from 2-4pm on sunday afternoon as young people are out all day on sunday,also close earlier on sunday night as it is the cause of missing work on mondays
I agree that pubs should close 2-4 on Sundays but why close earlier on Sunday night. If that the case, perhaps they should close earlier Mon - Thurs as well and we should all live in a Nanny state where everyone assumes everyone else has no personal or social responsibility whatsoever and we should all let the state make rules and regulations for everythign with no individual autonomy. Maureen, don't tar all young people with the same brush. Whci makes me wonder, how do you define 'young'. On the few occasion when I've been in the pub on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, the people I see for the most part are young families lettign their children run riot all over the place.
Binge drinking is the norm in ireland, there is no denying it!! At the moment im spending the year in italy and all the foreigners are shocked when they see a group of irish getogether and drink!! I think we have alot of reasons for drinking such as a depressing climate and i think irish people especially boys are not brought up with the rights to express themselves like those on the continent. we have a history of surpression going back before the famine and the habits we have developed wont change in a day. i think it is forgotten that when the brits ruled ireland irish people went to the pub to talk freely to eachother! on the continent people express this in sharing a meal!! i think it is sad that our whole culture is based around drink however on the continent nearly everyone is taking drugs so hoz can we really balance which country is worse off!!Is it worse to take drugs or binge drink!!To be honest i think its better to drink. Despite our binge culture im proud of ireland and being irish!!
Another difference between outselves and the continental Europeans is that having a beer of a galls of wine with a meal or an aperitif in the evenign is very normal daily behaviour. Weras we don't drink allweek, then go out and get very drunk on a Friday or Saturday.
i HAVE TO SAY I AGREE WITH LIAM!! sINCE JOINING THE EU ALL THAT IS HAPPENING IS THAT OUR DRINK ISSUES IN IRELAND ARE BEING HIGHLIGHED!! I DONT THINK WE NEED THAT AS A NATION AS WE ARE ALREADY AWARE OF THE ISSUE;. i THINK ITS OK TO HAVE A FEW PINTS ON A NIGHT OUT IF YOU CAN HOLD YOUR DRINK WHY NOT,HOWEVER THERE IS NOTHING WORSE THAN SOME ONE GALKING ON THE STREET AFTER A NIGHT OUT. ITS SOMETHING YOU WOULD NEVER SEE ON THE CONTINENT BUT THEN AGAIN IRELAND IS VERY MUCH ITS OWN COUNTRY;! IM SICK OF THIS BANTER ABOUT THE SMOKING BAN, ITS KILLING THE PUB LIFE, THATS FOR SURE;! iRELAND IS ALMOST BECOMING SOMETHING LIKE A COMMUNIST COUNTRY!! nEXT THING WE WILL ONLY BE ALLOWED HAVE TWO PINTS A NIGHT OR ELSE YOU LL GET A FINE;!! uNREAL
While I think the smoking ban is certainly positive healthwise, I'm not sure it's killing pub-cluture. Look around any pub on a Friday or Saturday night. Tho' I would hate to see Irland becoame like some very work-focused, work-oriented countries both inside and outside the EU, where the state has total control.
well unfort i think this is what is happening!!.! Look around the pubs on a friday and saturday night and its not the same! for most people a cigarette goes with a pint!! As regards my friends most of them have house parties as drink is too expensive and at least you can smoke at home!! you only need to look at the facts, business has gone down since the smoking ban!! its in the newspapers and the news all the time, that is if you follow news?its positive health wise for those who choose not to smoke but what about us smokers,,!! you say you would hate ireland to become work focused;; it has!!!!!open your eyes, look at the facts!!!To go further on the state having total control, it does!! Even when we voted against the euro, the country had the final say!! As i said next it wil be a pint a night or else you ll be in the cell for the night!! i rest my case!!
Maybe we should all measure up for a coffin, apologising for the upset we may have caused the health freaks who are now running country, and be done with it. I've never seen the likes of this god-awful pc do-goodery.
They're even singing about it now!!! http://theboqs.official.ws
thereīs good news for the Irish! As a matter of fact, the situation in Germany - at least as far as I know - doesnīt really differ. Binge drinking is the most usual thing to do on weekends, special occasions, etc. Iīd define binge drinking in my hometown as at least 12 pints, leave alone harder stuff. thatīs the way it goes!
On a news item this morning it was actually Britain that had the highest rate of binge drinking, not Ireland
Binge drinking is the norm in Ireland because when we were born it was a piss up and when we die its a piss up and when we wed its a piss up and when we win a game its a piss up and when we lose its a piss up and when its a bank holidays its a piss up,birthday, holidays,exams finished,because its a certain day of the week...piss up!!!!!!!!!!! ONLY YOU CAN CHANGE THE "NORM". We are conditioned to drink this fattening, cancer, chemical substance from the day we are born to the day we die.Our energy levels are messed up through this horrible substance that irish people call "fun"..."its only a bit of craic loike"...damaging mind, body, mood, liver,emotions, hydration,spending money on taxi's...if thats "fun" then god help you all!!Lets start filling up hospitals with people who actually need help......
Binge drinking is the norm in Ireland because when we were born it was a piss up and when we die its a piss up and when we wed its a piss up and when we win a game its a piss up and when we lose its a piss up and when its a bank holiday its a piss up,birthday, holidays,exams finished,because its a certain day of the week...piss up!!!!!!!!!!! ONLY YOU CAN CHANGE THE "NORM". We are conditioned to drink this fattening, cancer, chemical substance from the day we are born to the day we die.Our energy levels are messed up through this horrible substance that irish people call "fun"..."its only a bit of craic loike"...damaging mind, body, mood, liver,emotions, hydration,spending money on taxi's...if thats "fun" then god help you all!!Lets start filling up hospitals with people who actually need help......
Yep am inclined to agree....maybe we turned to drink historically due to the famine...ireland doesn't seem to have a food culture like most european countries....so we turned to drink...maybe its a habit we don't even realise it because it goes back such a long way?