More young people are choosing to stay sober, study finds

More and more young people in the UK are choosing not to drink, new research shows. Rebecca Haselhoff is one of them.

By Alice Nordevik

A recent study from University College London shows that an increased amount of young people in the UK are giving up alcohol. 22-year old Rebecca Haselhoff made the decision to stay sober early.

“I realised quickly that I did not feel good after drinking, psychically or mentally. So I did not want to force it on myself”, she said.

The study, based on the annual Health Survey for England, involved nearly 10.000 people aged 16-24 in England. The results showed that non-drinking increased from 18 percent in 2005 to 29 percent in 2015.

Dr Linda Ng Fat, lead author of the study, said that it is becoming more accepted not to drink.

“Increases in non-drinking among young people were found across a broad range of groups, including those living in northern or southern regions of England, among the white population, those in full-time education, in employment and across all social classes and healthier groups,” she said to The Telegraph.

“A culture shift”

Aaron Whittaker has worked as a bartender for the past two years and he recognises the trend.

“On Tuesday nights we have cheap drinks, but we are seeing a big decline in the amount of people coming here. However that might just be a shift in business here, not in general”, he said.

“I think there is a culture shift. People go more towards nightclubs than pubs and bars, and towards doing drugs than drinking”, he continued.

But even thought not drinking is becoming mainstream, Rebecca Haselhoff said it can still be hard sometimes.

“I have definitely felt pressured a lot of times. People often ask me if I do not like having fun, but I can have fun without alcohol.”

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