Press Release

Minister launches Phase 2 of Alcohol Awareness Campaign

Mr Micheál Martin TD, Minister for Health and Children today launched Phase 2 of the National Alcohol Awareness campaign. Highlighting startling facts about alcohol and its impact, it is aimed at buyers and suppliers of alcohol – buyers being parents, siblings or whoever supplies alcohol that young people access and includes pubs, off-licences, hotels, and supermarkets – anywhere alcohol is sold.

The campaign will run on national and local radio supported by a poster distributed to every retail outlet selling alcohol. With the theme – Keep Kids Safe from Drink – it will drive home a number of critical facts about alcohol:

  • More than half of 9 to 11 year olds have tried alcohol
  • Someone who starts drinking before age 15 is four times more likely to develop a dependency on alcohol than someone who starts at 21
  • Nearly one third of 15 to 16 year olds binge drink at least three times a month.

Launching this phase of the campaign Minister Martin said, “The campaign will challenge adults of all ages to be alert to the reality that alcohol is being used to excess by large numbers of Irish teenagers and prompt them into considering the impact of their behaviour – behaviour in allowing easy access in the first instance and also in examining their own drinking practices and how those practices impact on their children.”

The Minister said that research indicates that among the 12 to 18 year old second level pupils pubs, discos and the home are the three most commonly reported sources of supply. However, among the 13 and 14 year olds home is the most common source of supply.

Minister Martin said that one of the biggest challenges in driving home messages about alcohol is parental attitude. “Unfortunately as a nation we tend to view alcohol as harmless. This manifests itself in many parents thinking it´s fine for teenagers to drink alcohol as long as they don’t touch drugs.” He said that Health professionals know that alcohol is the drug most abused in this country.

This phase of the National Alcohol Awareness campaign follows the launch phase in February and is supported by the Drinks Industry Group.