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British Girls Are Piss-Heads… Apparently

Apparently, teenage girls in the UK are amongst the worst drunks in the developed world. That’s according to this new report: “Doing Better For Children”. Fifty percent of 15 year old girls in the UK reported getting drunk, almost three times higher than girls in France.
The number doesn’t surprise me. I first got boozed on cider at about 13, at an under-18 rave. I used to hang out with the older girls at school (as I was soooo sophisticated and grown-up). Having a drink while we were out with mates was kinda normal at that age. We could always find somewhere that would sell us alcohol. Or failing that, our parents drinks cupboard/homemade wine etc.
To be honest once I reached 15/16 my parents were fine with me having a drink every now and then. I’d never come home drunk though. I have Jamaican parents, and value my life WAY too much.

My brother is 15 and regularly has a couple bottles of Bacardi Breezers with his friends when they’re out. I’ve allowed him to sip on a tiny bit of wine at dinner from about 10 years old. Having his first taste of alcohol in a family setting (as it is in France) would mean he wouldn’t get drunk. And it’s worked. Unlike his mates who “found” booze around 14. Their first taste was around friends, which meant they got drunk. But for J, alcohol is no big deal. When all his mates are getting wasted (drunk) on beer and vodka, J is happy sipping away — and coming home sober.

The Brits relationship with alcohol is a weird one. It’s always hard for non-Brits to understand. When I’m in New York the only time I properly have a drink is when I’m in Queens with my Jamaican fam. But when I’m in Manhattan, I’ve only ever sipped on a couple JD and cokes and that’s about it – it doesn’t seem to be the culture like it is in the UK.

At least once a week I’m catching up with girlfriends over a bottle or three of wine. Drinking after work? Boozing starts at 6pm and goes on til the last train home at midnight. In fact, just last week I was convinced I had the best Scottish accent EVER whilst walking home with mates at about 1am after a 4-hour drinking session, with goodness-knows how many bottles of wine.

It’s the only relationship with alcohol I know… and for the majority of Brits it’s exactly the same thing. The difference is I’m an adult and responsible for myself. I could NEVER have dreamt of being properly drunk in my younger teens, I was far too scared of my parents for that nonsense! But a lot of these kids aren’t scared, as alcohol is a big part of their parents life.

My generation will become parents of teenagers in 10-15 years. Is there a chance that our unhealthy relationship with alcohol will create a whole new younger generation of alcoholics? Gosh, there’s a question to get me thinking.

—Miss London

Like Miss London’s perspective from across the pond? Read the rest of her posts here.

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