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Having a Dry July has great health benefits. We've brought together a collection of articles that could help you with your Dry July.

Why are young people drinking less than their parents’ generation did?

By Sarah J MacLean, Amy Pennay, Gabriel Calluzi, John Holmes and Jukka Törrönen on

As we head towards the end of the year, office get-togethers, Christmas lunches and New Year’s parties are upon us. It seems like a prime opportunity for young people to be drinking the night away.

But something unexpected has happened since the start of this century. Young people in Australia, the UK, Nordic countries and North America have, on average, been drinking significantly less alcohol than their parents’ generation did when they were a similar age.

During COVID lockdowns, some surveys indicate this fell even further.

Our research suggests this is unlikely to be due simply to government efforts to cut youth drinking. Wider social, cultural, technological and economic changes seem to be key to these declines.

Researchers conducting interview-based studies with young people in a range of countries have identified four main reasons for declining youth drinking.

These are: uncertainty and worry about the future, concern about health, changes to technology and leisure, and shifting relationships with parents.

Uncertain futures

What it’s like to be young in developed countries is very different today than it was for previous generations. From climate change to planning a career and being able to afford a house, young people are aware their futures are uncertain.

Pressures to perform academically are starting earlier and rates of mental ill health are on the rise.

Many young people are thinking about the future in ways previous generations didn’t need to. They are trying to gain a sense of control over their lives and secure the futures they aspire to.

A couple of decades ago, getting really drunk was widely regarded by many young people as a “rite of passage” into adulthood and a good way of taking time out from the routines of work and study.

Now, young people feel pressure to present as responsible and independent at an earlier age and some fear drinking to intoxication, and the loss of control it entails, will jeopardise their plans for the future.

This emphasis on the future means young people limit how much time they spend partying and drinking.

Young people are health conscious

Health and well-being also seem to be increasingly important to young people.

Research from 15-20 years ago found young people viewed the consequences of heavy drinking (vomiting, unconsciousness) positively, or at least ambivalently.

More recent studies suggest this has changed, with young people expressing concerns about risks to mental health and long-term physical health related to their alcohol use.

However, Australian and Swedish research also found some young people regard the social benefits of drinking as important to their well-being.

For many young people, however, this seems to involve moderate alcohol consumption, in place of the “determined drunkenness” observed in the 1990s and early 2000s.

What if my employer sees that?

Technology has reshaped how young people socialise, with contradictory effects on youth drinking.

Social media provides new (less regulated) avenues for alcohol companies to promote their products. Holding a drink is de rigueur for a photo on social media celebrating a night out.

Yet, young people are also careful to manage their online images. 

Our research found young people worry about who might see images of them drunk on social media (such as friends, family and future employers), a risk that is unique to this generation.

The internet exposes young people to a wider range of possibilities for their lives, including new perspectives from which to reflect on their drinking choices.

It also offers social alternatives that are less likely to involve drinking, including video games and other digital media.

Changing family relationships

Styles of raising teenagers and managing their introduction to alcohol have evolved over a generation.

Many parents monitor their children on a night out and appear to oversee their drinking more closely than in previous generations, which is enabled by the mobile phones most young people in high-income countries now possess.

Young people also spend more time with their parents, potentially developing more communicative relationships that reduce their need to drink and rebel.

Binge drinking not as ‘cool’ anymore

There are also a host of other reasons why young people limit alcohol consumption, including culture and religious affiliations, health conditions and personal motivations.

Altogether, these changes mean many young people do not regard heavy intoxication as “cool” and no longer see it as a key marker of independence and adulthood.

Alcohol abstinence has become more socially accepted among young people, along with choosing to consume alcohol moderately.

These factors play out differently for young men and women. Some research points to loosening of gendered expectations of drinking, with new opportunities for men to demonstrate masculinity without drinking heavily.

Yet, differences remain in how young men and women use alcohol, with women having to navigate a range of gendered risks (such as unwanted sexual attention) and being judged more harshly when they are seen to be drunk (including online).

Of course, some young people continue to drink a lot and there will always be blips in alcohol use around holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

But whether alcohol consumption among young people continues its overall decline may have more to do with the wider contexts of their lives than the sometimes poorly selected policies their governments implement.

Sarah J MacLean, Amy Pennay, Gabriel Calluzi, John Holmes and Jukka Törrönen.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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Preparing for your Dry July

By Dry July Foundation on

You’re doing something amazing – improving your own health, and helping to change the lives of people affected by cancer. We're with you every step of the way for your Dry July, so don't be daunted by taking some time off the booze! 

Plus, remember the funds you raise will improve the comfort and wellbeing of people affected by cancer.

Here are our top tips to help you prepare and stay dry this July:

In preparation:

  • In June try to slow down your alcohol intake to half of what you would normally consume.
  • Plan your social calendar. Offer to be the Designated Dryver on a night out, or if you have an event that you really want to drink at, ask someone to buy you a Golden Ticket. It will give you a night off the wagon, while also raising...
Read more…

All The Good Stuff That Happens To Your Body When You Take A Break From Alcohol

By Alana Wulff on

There’s nothing quite like going out with your mates for a big night or two (or three), but there’s also nothing as satisfying as realising you’ve managed to sidestep another time-wasting, hangry hangover.

Making the decision to hit the reset button and take a break from booze isn’t just liberating, it’s a sure-fire way to save your cash and get your mental and physical health back on track. So, with Dry July just around the corner, here are just some of the best reasons to contemplate hitting snooze on the booze.

Your Sleep Improves

Is there anything more annoying than waking up at 3am because those delicious yet devious wines and beers have messed with your sleep patterns? Drinking, especially if you’re indulging on a regular basis, can...

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Navigating drinking culture in the workplace when you're sober

By ABC Everyday / By Flip Prior on

This year, I've had plenty of time to reflect on what influenced my past drinking habits since quitting on January 1 — and colleagues have emerged as a strong theme.

Look, I'm not about to try to blame Bob in accounts for my own after-work boozing, but given how much time most of us spend at work (and how stressful that environment can be) it's not surprising workmates loom large in shaping drinking behaviour.

Hanging out with colleagues in social situations often brings a not-so-subtle pressure to drink — it's ubiquitous, especially in the media industry, and opting out can feel uncomfortably weird.

And like lots of situations in which drinking is involved, habits can be ingrained after many years until they eventually feel normalised...

Read more…