European Youth Portal
Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.

Thinking before drinking

A picture
© - Nejron Photo
Did you know that Europe is the region with the highest alcohol consumption per person in the world? Inform yourself and see why you and your friends might want to drink less or not at all.

Alcohol is the second largest risk factor for health problems in Europe and young people shoulder a disproportionate amount of this burden. Every year more than 55,000 people aged 15-29 die across Europe due to alcohol-related causes.


Know your limits

Two-thirds of European countries have a minimum age limit of 18 years and one-fifth have a minimum age limit of 16 years for selling beer and wine. Three countries have no age limit for sales of alcohol at all. Only a little over a quarter of EU citizens are able to identify the legal blood alcohol limit for driving in their country – even though all countries have some form of drink-driving restrictions. You can even be penalised for riding your bicycle while drunk.

TALK ABOUT ALCOHOL is a site packed with information and interesting things to explore. It gives you the facts on what alcohol is, how it affects young people and which laws you should know about. It will help you make your own decisions about alcohol. Your national health ministry, public health agency or the closest youth information centre can also provide you with further information.


Get active to help others make informed choices

The Alcohol Policy Youth Network (APYN) is open to all youth organisations and clubs that wish to work on reducing the harmful consequences of alcohol consumption, and that are not sponsored by the alcohol industry.

The network’s mission is to mobilise young people across Europe to raise awareness about alcohol-related topics and to become advocates of better alcohol policy on local, national and international level. APYN also offers training, resources and guidance on how to implement your project on alcohol-related matters.

Active - sobriety, friendship and peace is a European youth organisation gathering 500+ youth groups and 25,000 young people who have decided to live sober. They are promoting an alcohol-free life style, offering an alternative to those who do not accept alcohol as a natural part of our cultures. Active organises seminars, training courses, youth meetings and social activities and works politically to encourage an alcohol- and drug-free environment.

If you want to run your own campaign, the global Foundation for a Drug-free World offers free material and information kits, such as the “The truth about alcohol”-booklet.

The EU’s Youth in Action programme provides support for youth exchanges and youth initiatives, also with the focus on promoting healthy behaviours.