Thailand’s northern provinces of Nan and Chiang Rai consumed more alcohol than any other province last year, according to a survey presented at a seminar organized by the Centre for Addiction Studies.
During a Bangkok seminar, Dr. Athip Tanaree of Srithanya Hospital revealed the results of the provincial alcohol consumption survey, which observed alcohol consumption behavior among 84,000 people nationwide in 2021.
Nan had the highest alcohol consumption, followed by Chiang Rai, Phrae, Mukdahan, and Phayao, while Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, Phangnga, and Sing Buri had the lowest, according to Dr. Athip.
Lampang, which had the highest alcohol consumption in 2017, fell to 22nd, while Chanthaburi fell from fourth to 18th and Sukhothai fell from fifth to seventeenth, he said.
Heavy alcohol consumption was reported among adult drinkers in the north and northeast, whereas teenage drinkers were mostly found in the central regions.
One of the survey’s findings was that 28% of drinkers were teenagers aged 15 and up. Thailand’s legal drinking age is 20.
Among those polled, 43.8% said they drank at least weekly, and 35.9% said they drank heavily.
Meanwhile, Prommin Kantiya, director of the Accident Prevention Network (APN), stated that each festival, including New Year’s Eve, has a tendency to increase the number of road accidents.
APN, the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, and other networks have joined forces to educate drivers about the dangers of drunk driving.
“We need to raise awareness among people that even a small amount of alcohol increases the likelihood of being involved in a car accident,” Mr Prommin said.
During the previous New Year period, from December 29 to January 4, there were 2,707 road accidents, with 333 people killed and 2,672 injured. Speeding was blamed for 35.12% of the accidents, and drunk driving was blamed for 29.51%. 17.84% of the accidents were the result of careless driving.
Motorcycles were involved in 85.80% of the accidents, pickup trucks in 6.20%, and cars in 3.55%.