Changing trends in adolescent alcohol use among Czech school-aged children from 1994 to 2014

  • Ladislav Kážmér
    National Institute of Mental Health, Klecany; Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague, Czechia.
  • Ladislav Csémy
    National Institute of Mental Health, Klecany, Czechia.


Background: For an efficient planning of public health policy, the regular monitoring over health-related behaviors among vulnerable population groups is necessary. The aim of this study is to examine the temporal trends in alcohol use among the Czech adolescent population.

Design and methods:
 Data from the Health Behaviour in Schoolaged Children (HBSC) project conducted in Czechia from 1994 to 2014 were used. Adolescent alcohol use was assessed via two indicators: i) weekly alcohol use (beer, wine, and/or spirit), ii) repeated lifetime drunkenness (having been drunk on two or more occasions in life). Trends in alcohol use were modelled separately for boys and girls. Binary logistic regression was conducted with survey period as an independent predictor of the alcohol indicator.

 There were significant changes in adolescent alcohol use since 1994. Between 1994 and 2010, there was a gradual upward in the prevalence. However, in the recent period of 2014, an unprecedented drop in alcohol use was recorded.

 Despite the significant drop in the prevalence of alcohol use among the Czech youth in recent years, alcohol drinking in adolescence remains an important challenge for the national health policy. Further research will show whether these changes in adolescent health-related behavior are of a temporary or a permanent nature.