Beer pressure: Friends a major influence when it comes to drinking alcohol

Pressure to drink from friends is the number one influencing factor in drinking alcohol in the UK, a survey has revealed.

From the 1,697 men and women questioned, a startling 85% had experienced bullying from friends to consume alcohol.

The study was done by One Year No Beer (OYNB), in collaboration with Stirling University.

“I know from personal experience how difficult it is to say no when you are being badgered into have a drink. And it’s easy to cave in under peer pressure when everyone around you is having a great time getting stuck in. It’s expected of you to drink; it goes against the grain if you don’t…why is it that it’s the people we call our friends who find it hardest of any of our relationships to accept when we say no? The One Year No Beer community aims to destroy the peer pressure around going alcohol free, and empowering people to say no, whether it’s with friends on a night out or deciding to quit alcohol for a longer period.”

Ruari Fairbairns, OYNB co-founder

In the Calendar region, men felt 26% more peer pressure than the UK average, with family being the biggest pressure point.

Credit: Press Association

The survey also found:

  • After friends, 50% of respondents admitted to being pressured into drinking by colleagues and family, and 2 out of 5 said they get pestered into drinking by their partner.

  • Generally men felt coerced into drinking more often than women - men’s pressure threshold is 6% higher than women’s.

  • Men are 20% more likely to get nagged into drinking by their colleagues and 37% more by their bosses.

  • Women say they feel more pressure to drink from their partners (22% more than men).

  • Adults aged between 18-45 felt more pressure to drink with friends than an older demographic, whereas men aged 55-plus were 58% more likely to drink on their own.

Credit: Press Association

“The best way to crush the peer pressure to drink is through joining a tribe of like-minded people, by taking a OYNB alcohol-free challenge, who will inspire you ‘not’ to drink because it no longer fits with your most healthy, productive, vibrant best-self.”

Andy Ramage, OYNB co-founder