Birutė Strukčinskienė, Neringa Strazdienė, Alona Rauckienė-Michaelsson, Vaiva Strukčinskaitė, Dileta Tervydytė, Emilija Griškonytė, Sigitas Griškonis
Introduction. Alcohol consumption has a negative impact on the health of children, adolescents and young people, including students. Students’ alcohol consumption studies could help prevent the use of harmful psychoactive substances.
Materials and Methods. 319 university students participated in the written survey. SPSS (version 24.0) programme has been used for statistical data analysis. The criterion χ2 has been applied and the data was considered to be statistically significant when p ≤ 0.05.
Results. The study involved 143 (44.8%) boys and 176 (55.2%) girls. The majority of students (90.3%) have consumed alcohol in the period of the last 12 months. Half of the respondents (47%) indicated that they consume beer several times a month. 58% of the respondents consume wine, and low-alcohol beverages (Cider, Mix, Fizz, alcoholic cocktails) several times a month are consumed by 42% of students. 55 % of the respondents do not consume above mentioned low-alcohol beverages at all. Vodka and other strong alcoholic drinks are not consumed by 54% of the respondents at all, while 43% of the respondents consume these beverages several times a month. Half of the respondents (48%) have for several times been under the influence of alcohol after having drunk large amounts of alcohol, and 33% of the respondents have been under the influence of alcohol more than ten times. Both girls and boys consume vodka and other strong alcoholic beverages equally often. However, girls rather than boys consume wine significantly more often.
Half of the respondents (50%) have noted that friends make major impact on the consumption of alcohol by young people, while 22% of the respondents believe that it is the lack of employment and busyness. In the students’ opinion the key role in the prevention of smoking and alcohol drinking lies with parents (37%), friends (27.9%) and the media (25.1%). 75.9% of the respondents said that they had enough knowledge about a healthy lifestyle, and 19.7% of the respondents said that they have doubts as regards their knowledge on healthy lifestyle.
Conclusions. Over the last year and during the last month alcohol has been consumed by the majority of students that participated in the survey. Both girls and boys consume alcohol equally often. The key causes of alcohol consumption by students are the influence of friends and the lack of employment and busyness. The study has revealed that most students believe that they have enough knowledge about healthy lifestyles. However, it is recommended to pay more attention to prevention of alcohol consumption by adolescents and young people. Reducing alcohol consumption should be a priority in health policy formulation at local and national levels.