To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce alcohol consumption among young people aged under 18 years old.
The Government takes seriously the issue of alcohol consumption by those aged under 18 years. We are encouraged to see that alcohol consumption is generally on the decline among younger drinkers but we are not complacent. The Department and Public Health England (PHE) are working with other Government departments to help prevent young people from developing alcohol and drug problems. This includes supporting investment in programmes which have a positive impact on young people, giving them the confidence, resilience and risk management skills to make healthy choices. Examples of this include PHE’s Rise Above, an online resilience building resource aimed at 11- to 16-year-olds, which provides resources to help young people develop skills to make positive choices for their health, including alcohol use and PHE’s FRANK website and helpline, which provides a service for people who are concerned about their own or others’ drugs and alcohol consumption.
Further, the Department for Education’s statutory guidance: Relationships education, relationships and sex education and health education will become mandatory from September 2020. Through this, education on drugs, alcohol and tobacco will become compulsory at state-funded primary and secondary schools.