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Health News

Third of under-24s 'drink to get drunk'

More than a third of young adults go out just to get drunk, a survey showed today.

More than one in four admitted they had no idea how they got home at least once in the last year and almost a fifth had an alcohol-fuelled one-night stand.

The ICM poll, of 2,000 adults aged 18-24, found 36% of those questioned went out drinking with the specific intention of getting drunk, alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware said.

The survey also found that one in three young adults thought it was acceptable to wake up without knowing how they got home after a drinking session and one in 25 believed it was OK to end up in hospital.

Drinkaware's £100 million five-year campaign Why Let Good Times Go Bad? was backed by Home Secretary Theresa May today.

"These worrying statistics are further evidence that the benefits promised by the 24-hour drinking 'cafe culture' have failed to materialise," Mrs May said.

"We want young people to enjoy themselves but we want them to do it responsibly and safely.

"This campaign will complement the Government's plans to introduce tough measures to ban the sale of below-cost alcohol, crack down on problem premises and overhaul the Licensing Act in favour of local communities."

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: "We will not succeed in tackling irresponsible drinking unless we address the demand side as well as the supply side."

Chris Sorek, chief executive of Drinkaware, said: "Binge- drinking is a blight on UK society - it affects individuals, families and local communities and tarnishes our reputation on the global stage.

"There is no doubt we must tackle the issue and partly this means individuals taking responsibility for their own behaviour.

"We know that most young adults are going to drink, but the fact that so many get into situations they later regret means we should nudge, not nanny, them to change their behaviour and avoid getting into similar, repeat situations."

:: ICM interviewed a random sample of 2,000 UK adults aged 18-24 from its online panel between August 5 and 11.