*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on MedicalXpress.
More than 70 percent of teenage girls who are risky drinkers report unwanted sexual attention from other drinkers—just one of a multitude of harms young people experience from ‘second-hand drinking’, according to new Australian research.
The study in the latest issue of Public Health Research & Practice, published by the Sax Institute, sheds light on the compounding effects of risky drinking in young Australians, identifying for the first time a range of specific harms teenage consumers of alcohol experience at the hands of other drinkers.
The research—involving 3465 Australian teenagers who consume alcohol at risky levels for their age and gender—found girls and young women were at substantial risk of seven specific harms from others’ drinking, mostly concerning fear and harassment. These included receiving unwanted sexual attention (71 percent of female participants); being harassed in a public place (42 percent); being left alone in an unsafe situation (31 percent), and being placed in a state of fear (33 percent).
Boys and young men were at greater risk of three specific harms involving aggression: being pushed or shoved (42 percent); being yelled at or verbally abused (38 percent), and being physically hurt (17 percent). Over one-third of risky drinkers of both genders had witnessed serious violence in the previous year.
Compared with adolescents in the general population, teens who drink at risky levels are two to three times as likely to experience harm from other drinkers, according to the study authors led by Dr. Tina Lam, a Research Fellow at the Monash Addiction Research Centre.