In 2012, New Zealand high school students reported that friends and others were a very common source of alcohol [25].

Overall, the following sources of alcohol for young New Zealand drinkers in 2012 were:

  • Parents (60%)
  • Friends (44%)
  • Buy their own (11%)
  • Someone else buys it for them – not a parent (30%).

More females than males sourced their alcohol from friends (47% versus 39%). High school students living in lower socio-economic areas were also more likely to get alcohol from a friend than those living in more socio-economically advantaged areas (46% versus 43%).

In the same study, New Zealand adolescents reported that they commonly consume alcohol with friends (83%), family (53%), and/or with another person (15%).

Alcohol supplied by friends and others (i.e. non-parents) is particularly dangerous for young people. It has been shown to be linked with an increased likelihood of drinking high amounts of alcohol and experiencing alcohol-related harm [26].

Social supply is a term commonly used in relation to young people’s drinking. It means alcohol that is supplied by another person as opposed to purchased directly from an outlet or licensed premises or obtained without permission.

It is believed that social supply of alcohol may lead to a young person starting to drink earlier.

Note: this section is not about supply from licensed premises, click here to read more.

Click here for a factsheet on the harms from drinking in adolescence

Click here for a factsheet on trends in adolescent drinking in New Zealand

Click here for a factsheet on the role of alcohol availability in adolescent drinking