The figures come ahead of St Patrick’s Day – a day associated with excessive drinking.

Ireland has one of the highest rate of binge drinking teenage girls in the world.

According to a study in The Lancet, adolescent girls in Denmark and Finland were the only ones to drink more.

Researchers tracked the health of 15 to 19 year olds in 195 countries, including smoking, obesity, and drinking habit.

The rate of Irish teenage girls who binge drink was 61 per cent compared to their male counterparts at 58 per cent.

Image Credit: Pixabay

People who binge drink are being warned that their future health will suffer.

Dr Ciara Kelly, medical doctor and health and wellness blogger at The Irish Balance, said excessive consumption of alcohol has “major public health implications”.

Speaking to Louise on The Hub, Dr Kelly said:

“Per capita, consumption of alcohol in Ireland was about 11.4 litres of pure alcohol per person over 15 in 2016.

“Studies from 2017 show that just over half of those that do drink do so about once a week, and about 40 per cent of people would indicate that they drink six or more standard drinks, which is considered binge drinking.

“So, just under half of us would do that on a typical occasion so it is quite high.”

Dr Kelly explained what a standard drink is:

“A standard drink would be counted as a 100ml glass of wine, half a pint of beer or lager, one pub measure of spirits – they’re probably the most common examples.

“The maximum limit per week that we shouldn’t exceed is 17 standard drinks for men and for women it’s 11.

“But the key thing is that your drinks should be spread out over the course of a week, with at least two alcohol-free days.”

She outlined the detrimental effects alcohol can have on our health:

“It can cause permanent damage to our brain if consumed too much or too frequently; so for example, symptoms such as mood changes, learning or concentration difficulties, mental health problems, difficulties with memory. It also contributes in the long term to a greater risk of dementia.

“It’s actually classed as a carcinogen and it can contribute an increased risk for certain cancers, such as oral cancer, liver cancer, oesophageal cancer, and breast cancer too.

“It can cause a spectrum of damage to the liver – all the way from a fatty infiltration of the liver, to a more inflamed state, to scarring that’s scientifically called cirrhosis.”

You can listen to the fuull interview below.

For more information on alcohol, go to askaboutalcohol.ie