A recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO) shared on Yahoo news and other publications has shed light on a concerning trend: England is leading the pack globally when it comes to child alcohol use. Yes, you read that right. Our dear England, known for its tea and politeness, is unfortunately topping the charts for underage drinking.  Why is this happening? What’s driving our young ones to turn to alcohol at such tender ages? Dr. Jo Inchley, the brains behind the study, suggests a few factors, but one thing is clear—there’s cause for concern.

Girls aged 13 and 15 in the UK are not only drinking more but also smoking and vaping more compared to boys. This gender discrepancy is startling and warrants our attention. But it’s not just about the girls; boys are also falling into the trap of early alcohol consumption.  At the age of 11, a staggering 34% of girls and 35% of boys in England have already tasted alcohol. By the age of 15, the numbers skyrocket, with over half of girls admitting to drinking in the past 30 days. These statistics are not just numbers; they represent real lives, real stories, and potentially real harm.

But why should we care? Because our youth are our future. Because every young soul deserves a chance to thrive without the shackles of addiction weighing them down. Because alcohol, despite its glamorous facade, is a silent predator, creeping into our lives and wreaking havoc on our health and happiness.  I remember going along to a Drugs and Alcohol (er alcohol is a drug!) at my daughters school when she was about 12, the conversation was all around offering children a ‘small glass of wine to get them used to it’  What BS!  How about modelling the behaviour that you don’t need a toxic substance to be comfortable in your own skin!

I speak from personal experience when I say that life without alcohol is vibrant, clear, and full of possibilities. Sobriety is not just about abstaining from a substance; it’s about reclaiming your power, your joy, and your authenticity. It’s about waking up each day with clarity and purpose, knowing that you are in control of your destiny. And for parents, its the best ‘patience’ hack ever, you become so much more compassionate, stable and able to set boundaries.

So, Let’s be the voice of reason in a world intoxicated by the allure of alcohol. Let’s educate, inspire, and support our youth to make healthier choices. Let’s create a culture where sobriety is celebrated, not sidelined.  Dr. Inchley highlighted the impact of the pandemic (or rather – in my opinion, the ridiculous response to it) on our children’s mental health, there’s a direct correlation between early alcohol use and mental health challenges, and it’s a wake-up call for all of us.  We need to prioritize our well-being above all else.

Lets raise an Alcohol free glass –  ‘cheers’ to a future where our children grow up free from the chains of addiction, where sobriety is the new norm, and where health and happiness reign supreme.

Check out my Alcohol Free Life podcast interview with Dr Aric Sigman who, way ahead of his time, wrote Alcohol Nation many years ago, he campaigns tirelessly, if you have young children insist the school hires him!

Grab his book Alcohol Nation  https://amzn.to/3Wd8kA7





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