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Northern Ireland Drinking Patterns Survey shows majority favour minimum unit pricing

Results from the fifth Adult Drinking Patterns Survey were published today.

The survey was conducted between 1 October 2013 and 30 November 2013 across a sample of private households in Northern Ireland. The last survey was carried out in 2011.

The report presents information on the amount of alcohol the respondents consumed, when, where and what they drank, who they drank with, and those who reported binge and problem drinking.

In addition, for the first time, respondents were asked questions on their attitude to minimum unit pricing. Results showed that two-thirds of respondents (68%) had heard of minimum unit pricing of alcohol prior to the survey, and that three-fifths of respondents (60 per cent) were in favour of minimum unit pricing.

Key findings included the following:

  • The majority of respondents who drank alcohol in the week prior to the survey did so in their own home (65%)
  • There was a positive income/consumption correlation; those from the richest households (£52,000+ per annum) were most likely to drink at least once a week, but the poorest respondents were most likely to drink alone (30 per cent of those from households with income under £10,400 per annum)
  • A significant proportion of respondents underreported their level of consumption. 54 per cent of men who drank at dangerous levels claimed to be ‘moderate’ drinkers, 19 per cent said that they were ‘light’ drinkers, and a fifth of those who through their responses had specifically indicated that they had a drinking problem saw themselves as 'light drinkers'


This article was adapted from “Adult Drinking Patterns Survey in Northern Ireland 2013”, originally published on 19 August 2014.