Boozers 'Can't Blame Peer Pressure'
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People who drink to excess may no longer be able to blame their friends for piling on the pressure, new research has revealed.
A number of adults questioned in the YouGov poll said they had put excessive drinking down to peer pressure but very few said they expected their friends to keep up with them or forced them to drink more when they did not want to.
The survey, for the Department of Health’s Alcohol Effects campaign, also found that people made up excuses or lied to justify refusing a drink, even though it was unlikely their friends would think less of them for doing so.
The poll of more than 2,000 English adults found that more than one in five (22%) people who had ended up drinking more than they planned had blamed peer pressure.
But only 2% of those surveyed admitted to piling on the pressure for friends to drink more when they did not want to and just 4% expected their friends to keep up with them when drinking.
The survey also revealed that 39% of drinkers felt the need to make up an excuse or lie to justify refusing a drink but only 1% said they would think less of those who turned down alcohol or chose to drink less than them.
Experts said the research showed that all drinkers should feel confident about admitting to friends when they have had enough.
Gillian Merron, Public Health Minister, said: “Many of us enjoy a drink – drinking sensibly isn’t a problem, but too many are regularly drinking more than the NHS advises. This means you’re at higher risk of getting cancer or having a stroke or heart attack.
“This survey should encourage us all that it is OK to be honest with our friends about when we’ve had enough.
“Protecting our long–term health should be a good enough reason for anyone.”