Last month the Law Commission released its long-awaited report on alcohol, recommending the drinking age be raised from 18 to 20.
The report detailed the harm alcohol caused to young people.
nzherald.co.nz recaps the commission's findings:
* Adolescent drinkers between the ages of 12 and 17 are more likely than older drinkers to suffer unprotected and unwanted sex, violence, assault, arrests, road crashes and other adverse social consequences.
* Alcohol contributes to the deaths of more young people aged 18 to 29 proportionally than any other age group.
* Alcohol disrupts physical and cognitive development and increases the risk of later alcohol-use disorders and other mental health problems.
* More drivers aged 20 to 24 are involved in alcohol-related fatal road traffic crashes than any other age group.
* One in three young men aged 18 to 24 - the greatest proportion of any age group - drink more than six standard drinks at least weekly.
* More young women aged 16 and 17 - at least one in five - drink more than four standard drinks at least weekly than any other age group by proportion.
* Young people up to the age of 25, but particularly those under the age of 15, experience more harm per standard drink than older drinkers.
* Alcohol products marketed for youth are associated with heavy drinking: "Marketing to young people undoubtedly contributes to the ongoing recruitment of young people to replace drinkers lost to the industry by attrition in mature markets and to expand the drinking population in emerging markets."
* Nearly half of drinkers younger than 24 typically drink enough in a single session to double their risk of injury in the six hours after drinking.
* Almost one in three men aged 18 to 34 report having driven while under the influence of alcohol in the last year.
* Adolescents are more vulnerable than adults to the effects of alcohol on learning and memory. Not only do they react differently to the initial effects of alcohol, studies suggest that adolescents are also affected differently than adults by repeated, heavy drinking, particularly the repeated withdrawals associated with binge drinking.
* Young adults up to the age of 25 are at particular risk of harm from alcohol consumption, due to a greater risk of accidents and injuries, a lower alcohol tolerance than older adults, and an increased risk of cognitive impairment and alcohol dependence in later life.
* Young people's current and future drinking is influenced by exposure to marketing, including advertising, sponsorship and promotions.
- NZHERALD STAFF