Alcohol consumption among teenagers increases three times during the festive occasions of Christmas and New Year, with the National Capital Region (NCR) topping the list, followed by Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore and Chandigarh, reveals a report by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). The survey by the ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation was conducted in major cities under the theme “Consumption of alcohol during Christmas and New Year’s Eve 2013”. It found that the months of December and January witness a three-time increase in alcohol intake among teenagers between 14 and 19 years than on birthdays and traditional weekends.

 “The reasons for high-level of liquor consumption among teens include easy money, availability of imported brands, absence of parental control and more spending power,” said ASSOCHAM secretary general D. S. Rawat.

 The survey covered over 1,500 teenagers and 1,000 young men and women (20 to 29 years of age). A quarter of respondents revealed that they spend Rs.1,000 to Rs.10,000 on alcohol during the Christmas and New Year celebrations. The survey further says that one-third of Delhiites consume liquor three times a week during the festive season.

 “Over half (69 per cent) of the youngsters aged between 20 to 29 years admitted to binge drinking on the eve of New Year, with men ahead of women in liquor consumption,” reveals the survey.

 The major cities where respondents were interviewed include Mumbai, Goa, Cochin, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, NCR, Chandigarh and Dehradun.

 “It was observed that consumption of liquor is more in vogue in the NCR, followed by Mumbai, Goa, Chandigarh and Bangalore.” According to the study, liquor intake is likely to increase by more than 180 per cent in this season as against 105 per cent in the previous year.

 Earlier, in November 2011, an ASSOCHAM survey had found a 100 per cent rise in alcohol drinking among teenagers between 15-18 years of age in the last 10 years.

 The study also reveals that drinking seems to be a normal thing among teenagers in metropolitan cities, with children of 13 years of age having had tried Bacardi Breezers or vodkas with their friends during nights.

“While responding to the survey, 52 per cent teenagers said that having one drink at parties is something everyone does, for 72 per cent being “cool” meant having three to four drinks,” the study mentions.

 More than 52 per cent teens, who admitted to drinking said they drink when they are upset; eight per cent said they drink alone; two per cent said they drink when they are bored and 47 percent said they drink to “get a high”, finds the survey.