Young adults aged 18-24 are still more likely to binge drink or drink at high risk compared to drinkers aged 25 and over, despite a rising number of young people abstaining from drinking.

According to the latest report by Drinkaware, The Sober Myth: Are Young Adults Really a Generation of Non-Drinkers, 79% of the 5,200 young adults surveyed still consume alcohol despite having the highest rates of non-drinking out of the age demographics surveyed.

Young adults who drink are 74% more likely to binge drink compared to 63% of the general population, while 11% reported engaging in high risk or dependent levels of drinking compared to 6% of other respondents. Additionally, the study found that young adults are more likely to experience drinking-related memory loss than above 25s (40% vs 19%) and failure to meet their usual responsibilities as a result of drinking (24% vs 12%).

Despite continuing issues around binge drinking amongst 18-24 year olds, the percentage of non-drinkers in this age has reportedly risen to 21% compared to 14% in 2017. Young adults were also found to drink less often than the wider population, with 46% saying they drink at least once a week compared to 56% of respondents above 25.

Speaking of the report findings, Karen Tyrell, chief executive of Drinkaware, said: “It is really encouraging to see more young adults choosing not to drink and those that do, drink less often. These positive trends are welcome, but we must be careful that they don’t mask some of the more concerning drinking behaviours that still exist.

“We must ensure that young people’s drinking habits are not ignored, and they are properly addressed as part of any new alcohol strategy. We need to normalise conversations around alcohol, making it easier for people to speak up and get help if they are worried about their own or others drinking.”