Are social attitudes towards alcohol consumption (finally) changing?

Dry January Networking Event

LOFT has been overwhelmed by the response to the announcement of our #DryJanuary networking event on the 31st January at alcohol free bar Love From in Manchester.

In this article, I’d like to openly discuss modernising our attitude towards alcohol consumption and the social pressures often felt by those who are actively trying to reduce how much and how often they drink.

#DRYJANUARY NETWORKING

LOFT x Love From

Where? LOFT x Love From the General Store at Kampus, Manchester When? Wednesday January 31, 5-8pm

Why support Dry January

Social culture today still relates “having a good time” with drinking. Alcohol is the only drug where if you don’t do it, people assume you have a problem.

“Why aren’t you drinking, don’t be boring… just have one” can often turn into three and then five drinks later you’re in a taxi heading to a dingy nightclub with a late license “to carry on…”

When you wake up the next morning, bewildered, feeling terrible, with a much lighter wallet, how many of us have asked ourselves – why do I keep doing this to myself?

This is exactly what we’d like to help change – there is another way we can enjoy ourselves, meet people and do business without alcohol, and it is far more fun!

Why support Dry January

So, what exactly is social pressure?  

Direct social pressure is when someone offers you a drink or an opportunity to drink.

Indirect social pressure is when you feel tempted to drink just by being around others who are drinking—even if no one offers you a drink. 

LOFT would like to create an inclusive, fun, healthy, networking environment, where these social pressures are not felt, and attendees can relax without worrying about being socially excluded because they have chosen not to drink on that occasion.  

Dry January Networking Event

Our networking event is open to everyone, those who are partaking in #DryJanuary and those who are not. Designed to begin the process of removing social stigma’s such as “I need a drink to liven up / get me through this / make me more confident” etc.

Attitudes amongst the younger generation are certainly changing – recent research conducted by YouGov and the Portman Group an industry body which backs responsible drinking said the number of young adults calling themselves non-drinkers was 25% in 2020, rising to 30% in 2021, then 27% in 2022. It is now 39%.

A spokesman said: “Trends show that the younger generation is now the most sober age group overall. Our research tells a positive story of how low- and no-alcohol products have become a normal part of how the public moderate drinking and tackle potentially harmful situations.”

drinking statistics

However, Drink Aware an independent charity which aims to reduce alcohol-related harm, challenged this headline, digging deeper into the drinking habits of young people. Their research found the following:

  • Young adults are more likely to be non-drinkers (21% vs 13%) compared to the rest of the population.
  • Young adult drinkers are also more likely to binge drink (74% vs 63%) and drink at high risk or possible dependent levels (11% vs 6%) compared to drinkers aged 25 and over.
  • Young adult drinkers are most likely to drink on an evening or night out with friends (84%) but least likely to drink at home alone (43%).
  • One in five young adults drink for reasons associated with coping most of the time or always (19%).
  • Young adult drinkers are more likely to screen positive for anxiety or depression compared to drinkers aged 25 and over (43% vs 26%). 

drinking statistics

By contrast, only 24% of over-55s say they do not drink, while overall, Britain is drinking 15% less than 15 years ago. And the young who drink are increasingly trying low- and no-alcohol alternatives, says Portman Group.

This total has risen from 31% to 44% in a year as the industry heavily markets zero alcohol options from famous brands. Many of these alternatives are about the same price as the original versions, despite the fact they do not carry any duty.

And alcohol-free cocktails are what you can find at Love From alcohol free bar, owned and managed by Karl Considine and located at Kampus in Manchester M13GL. Karl is an Alcohol Change UK (ACUK) ambassador, who recently left his corporate job of 15 years to set up this passion project.

Centred around community and top-quality drinking options, Love From aims to inspire others with experiences in a bar setting that they wouldn’t usually consider in a fun, creative, way that challenges the narrative that alcohol-free does not have to be boring.

Sound interesting? Sign up here:

LOFT.co.uk is an inspiring purpose-driven collective that puts “People First”.  We specialise in furnishing homes for modern residents with an ethical & sustainable twist, making the company a true leader in our field.  If you're looking for ethical and sustainable furnishings for your home, LOFT.co.uk is the perfect choice. 

Sources  

Love From Co - https://love-from.co/  

ACUK - https://alcoholchange.org.uk/  

 Alcohol Change Report - https://s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/sr-acuk-craft/images/AC-Lauch-report-online.pdf  

Changing attitudes towards alcohol harm - https://alcoholchange.org.uk/blog/why-im-so-passionate-about-changing-attitudes-towards-alcohol-harm  

Rethinking Drinking - https://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/tools/Interactive-worksheets-and-more/Stay-in-control/drink-Refusal-Skills.aspx  

YouGov & Portman report - https://www.portmangroup.org.uk/yougov-survey-shows-rise-in-popularity-of-low-and-no-alcohol-alternatives-with-young-adults-now-the-biggest-consumers/  

The Sober Myth: Are Younger Adults really a generation of non-drinkers? https://media.drinkaware.co.uk/media/aeihijza/the-sober-myth-are-young-adults-really-a-generation-of-non-drinkers.pdf 

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