Peer pres­sure pushes Scots to­wards al­co­hol

Queen at­tends Crathie Kirk Fear of ap­pear­ing bor­ing or of miss­ing out also cited

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS -

Nearly eight in nine peo­ple in Scot­land have been pres­sured into drink­ing al­co­hol by friends, ac­cord­ing to a new sur­vey.

The pi­lot study of 1,697 adults across the UK and Ire­land, in­clud­ing 521 in Scot­land, found peer pres­sure was the num­ber one in­flu­enc­ing fac­tor for those be­ing en­cour­aged to drink.

A to­tal of 83% of re­spon­dents in Scot­land said friends had urged them to drink, with be­ing told “Go on, just have the one” the most com­mon method of per­sua­sion.

One in seven tee­to­tallers were asked if there was some­thing wrong due to re­fus­ing al­co­hol.

The great­est con­cern for Scot­tish re­spon­dents ab­stain­ing from drink­ing was the fear of ap­pear­ing bor­ing, at 60%, on a par with else­where in the UK.

How­ever, fear of be­ing left out was greater in Scot­land than the UK av­er­age, at 50% com­pared with 36%.

Re­searchers found one in three Scot­tish men felt vul­ner­a­ble when sober on the dance floor, com­pared with just 12% across the UK.

Nearly 80% of Scot­tish re­spon­dents re­ported so­cial events as the top trig­ger for drink­ing, 4% above the UK av­er­age.

In Scot­land, men were 18% more likely than women to be pressed into drink­ing by friends, in­creas­ing to 20% at so­cial events.

One in ten women north of the bor­der had been pushed into drink­ing by their bosses.

Scot­tish re­spon­dents were half as likely to feel pres­sured to drink alone, at 14%, com­pared with the UK av­er­age of 30%.

Other sit­u­a­tions where Scots felt less pres­sure to drink than the UK av­er­age was dur­ing hol­i­days and in the sun.

The sur­vey was car­ried out by the One Year No Beer cam­paign in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Univer­sity of Stir­ling.

Cam­paign co-founder Ruari Fair­bairns said: “I know from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence how dif­fi­cult it is to say no when you are be­ing bad­gered by your friends into hav­ing an al­co­holic drink.

“And it’s easy to cave in un­der peer pres­sure when ev­ery­one around you is hav­ing a great time get­ting stuck in.

“It’s some­how ex­pected of you to drink – it goes against the grain if you don’t.

“Why is it that it’s the peo­ple we call our friends who find it hard­est of any of our re­la­tion­ships to ac­cept it when we say no to al­co­hol? This can’t be the right way.”

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