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Youth drinking in decline: What are the implications for public health, public policy and public debate?

Feb 11, 2022

Since the mid-2000s, there has been a distinct trend in declining alcohol use amongst young people. This trend has been observed in wealthy countries all over the world - including in Australia, where the number of young people abstaining from alcohol use almost doubled between 2008 and 2017. This trend has been dissected in an article published in the International Journal of Drug Policy titled “Youth drinking in decline: What are the implications for public health, public policy and public debate?”. The article describes the trend as well established, and unlikely to reverse, with emerging evidence that young people are carrying their lower drinking trends into adulthood. This means it’s likely that there will be less focus on alcohol policy in future, potentially opening the way for the alcohol industry to push for a reduction in controls of alcohol advertising, opening hours and outlet density. 

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