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The Teenage Boys That Drink 12 Beers At A 'Normal Get-Together'

And the girls that almost match them drink for drink.

24/10/2016 9:54 AM AEDT | Updated 24/10/2016 12:42 PM AEDT
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How many standard drinks did you have at your last get together?

Some of Australia's teenagers are answering with alarmingly high drink tallies, with the heaviest-drinking groups of under-18 boys saying 17 standard drinks is normal while girls aren't far behind at 14 standard drinks.

That's 12 and 10 beers respectively.

The disturbing statistics have been collated by the Young Australians Alcohol Reporting System that surveyed people aged 16-19 year olds who were a part of the heaviest 20-25 percent of drinkers in their age bracket.

Of 958 respondents, boys and those living in regional areas drank the most and two thirds of respondents had hard spirits on their last bender.

What were they drinking?

At their last drinking session of more than seven standard drinks, the most popular alcoholic drinks were spirits (66%), beer (43%), pre-mixed drinks (43%), wine (32%), cider (19%), liqueur or cocktails (17%), and alcohol pre-mixed with energy drinks (12%).

The study, led by the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University, found 85 percent of the drinking sessions happened in a private home, 30 percent drank at a bar, 17 percent were in a public area like a park and six percent were at a festival or concert.

Research fellow Tina Lam told The Huffington Post Australia where you drink influences what you drink.

"Location has implications for the types of alcohol they buy and whether or not they can be monitored," Lam told HuffPost Australia.

"If you go into a pub in Perth, you'll pay, say, $12 for pint beer but if you're drinking at home, you'll go to a large liquor barn and go for the cheapest thing possible.

"This research shows cask wine, or goon, was far more popular than wine in a bottle.

"I went into one of these liquor barns a month ago and had a two for $20 special for 5L cask wine. That's 90 standard drinks."

The study also found that while boys were more likely to increase their drinking amount as they got older, girls started drinking more at 16 and less by 19.

As for alcohol's effects, 39 percent said or did embarrassing things, 25 percent could not remember large stretches of time, 10 percent passed out and most disturbingly, 8 percent got into sexual situations they later regretted.

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Group Of Teenagers Drinking Alcohol In Bedroom

Yet 65 percent reported they found it easier to talk to people when on a bender and 37 percent felt more calm. Seven percent reported they were "a better lover or enjoyed sex more".

Lam said risky drinking was inevitably harmful and had long-term effects.

"The harm you get after drinking more than seven standard drinks may be short term like a hangover or vomiting but in addition to direct harm related to alcohol, there are long-term implications like developing harmful habits that can continue later in life."

She also said it was important to remember this research didn't reflect the average teen, but the 20-25 percent riskiest drinkers.

"Most teens aren't drinking at all and we're focusing in on those who drink, and of those drinkers, that high-intensity top percentage of risky drinkers," Lam said.

"It isn't the norm but it is responsible for a substantial proportion of alcohol-related harm."

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