PRESS RELEASE: 27.09.2010
Survey: Young people don’t drink as much as they believe
Young people have great misconceptions about how much alcohol other young people drink. This was the conclusion reached from a Youth Academy survey of over 500 Finnish seventh graders. According to the survey, seventh graders living outside the capital city area thought that up to 66 per cent of ninth graders in Helsinki got drunk at least once a month. According to a school health questionnaire, the actual figure is 22.5 per cent.
Studies indicate that misconceptions increase risky behaviour, as drinking alcohol is a social phenomenon: many young people drink because they think their peers do.
The Youth Academy’s ‘No More Misconceptions’ (‘Luulot pois’) course for schools is designed to tackle young people’s misconceptions concerning alcohol, and thereby prevent the use of intoxicants. The success of the course was studied during the 2009–2010 school year. According to the follow-up questionnaire, after attending ‘No More Misconceptions’ courses, pupils had fewer misconceptions and alcohol use decreased, especially among classmates.
The ‘No More Misconceptions’ method is based on ‘The Ringsted Project’, which was carried out in Denmark and won the 2006 European Crime Prevention Award. The method has been adapted for Finnish schools in cooperation with the National Council For Crime Prevention, teachers at Järvenpää School and the Youth Academy. The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry is supporting the project with an annual donation of EUR 100 for every seventh grade that completes 50 courses. The money should be used for activities that promote class spirit.
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The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry promotes the interests of producers of beer, cider, long drinks, soft drinks and mineral waters in Finland. Its members are Oy Hartwall Ab, Nokian Panimo Oy, Olvi Oyj and Oy Sinebrychoff Ab. The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry operates in connection with the Finnish Food and Drink Industries Federation and represents Finland’s third largest industry in the food and drink branch in terms of the value of production.
The Youth Academy is a nationwide organisation that supports the activities and learning of youth. www.nuortenakatemia.fi