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Students’ drinking increases after resumption of face-to-face classes

Students’ drinking increases after resumption of face-to-face classes

Posted April. 15, 2023 08:35,   

Updated April. 15, 2023 08:35


The drinking rate among middle school and high school students went back up again, while the percentage of students complaining of depression and stress reached the highest level since 2013.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Education and the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency announced the results of the 2022 survey on student health examination sample statistics and adolescent health behavior. The health check was conducted of 92,693 students from 106 elementary, middle, and high schools across the country, and the behavioral survey was conducted of 60,000 students from 800 middle and high schools last year.

Among the middle and high school students surveyed, 13% of respondents answered that they drank more than one cup in the last 30 days. This means that more than one in 10 students admitted to drinking. The drinking rate of middle and high school students was 15 % in 2019, fell to 10.7% in 2020 and 2021, but rebounded again.

In the drinking severity level survey, which examines how much alcohol is consumed once, 6.1% of all male students said they "drink five or more glasses of soju in one sitting" and 5.1% of female students said they drink more than three glasses of soju. “The reduced face-to-face contact during the social distancing period led to fewer drinking opportunities, but it seems that drinking occasions increased again as quarantine measures were lifted and school started,” an official from the Ministry of Education said. Elementary, middle, and high schools across the country began reopening in May last year.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of students experiencing depression and stress increased as building new relationships was deterred due to social distancing. In the survey, 28.7% of middle and high school students said they felt sad or hopeless and could not maintain their daily life for two weeks over the past year. This is the highest figure since 2013 (30.9%).