According to National Health and Morbidity Survey by the Health Ministry, at least one out of five adolescents in Malaysia (19.3%) have tasted alcohol before in their lifetime. However, the percentage of current adolescent drinkers is 10.2% or one out of 10 children.
Picking up the habit at such a young age does not only pose a health risk but could also lead to social issues. The survey also found that 4.7% of adolescents got into social problems like getting involved in fights, missing school and getting into trouble with family or friends.
This situation should not be taken lightly. When the children were asked on how they got their hands on the alcohol, the majority of them (37.7%) responded that they got it from family members. Meanwhile, only 16.9% of the adolescents got alcohol from their friends. Hence, most of the time, the trouble started from home.
On the other hand, 27.3% of the respondents attained alcohol by purchasing directly from the store. Whereas, children who asked someone else to buy alcohol or stealing alcohol are at 9% and 1.8% respectively. Therefore, store-owners play a significant role in providing children with alcohol.