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17 August 2013 12:53
Most young adults are likely to drink more on holiday than at home
Young holidaymakers have been warned to take care when taking advantage of cheap alcohol prices abroad - after research showed how boozy Britons are putting themselves at risk of injury or imprisonment.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of young British holidaymakers have gone swimming while drunk abroad, according to a survey by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
An alarming 26% of 16 to 24-year-olds admit they have done something they are ashamed of while worse for wear through drink on holiday.
And 11% have put themselves in a vulnerable situation with a stranger while drunk on an overseas trip.
Some 2,479 UK adults, including 552 in the 16 to 24 age range, were questioned for the poll, which highlighted the importance of taking out comprehensive
travel insurance. It found most (51%) young adults were likely to drink more on holiday than at home.
Nearly two-thirds (62%) attributed this to the cheapness of alcohol abroad - and 40% felt pressure from friends to drink more than they wanted to on trips
FCO guidance was not intended to tell young people to stop drinking, said FCO spokesman Gavin Cook, but we do want people to be aware of the consequences of drinking to excess - and our research shows almost half of young people understand them already.
Activities which may be legal in the UK may not be legal in another country, he said.
To avoid a night in a jail cell or even a criminal record, it's important to research local laws and customs, including on alcohol consumption, before you go.
Drinking can impair judgment, he added. The effect of being hospitalised or arrested overseas goes far beyond a ruined holiday and can have a devastating impact on family and friends - financially and emotionally.
He concluded: "So our message is have fun in the sun, but drink responsibly so you don't put yourself at risk of harm."
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