Survey reveals which Thai provinces drink the most alcohol

On Monday, a doctor gave an interesting lecture about provincial alcohol consumption in Thailand at a conference held by the Centre of Addiction Studies in Bangkok.

Dr Athip Tan-Aree, M.D., from Srithanya Hospital in Nonthaburi province, revealed the results of a nationwide survey that asked 84,000 Thai respondents questions about their alcohol drinking habits.

The survey found that 28% of respondents over 15 years old or more drank alcohol in the past 12 months. Results showed that 9% of 15 to 19 year olds drank alcohol, despite the law forbidding the sale of alcohol to anyone under 20 years old.

Among adult drinkers, 43.8% said that they drank at least once per week, 35.9% said they drank heavily and 31.6% admitted to drink-driving.

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By region, northern and northeastern provinces were home to far more big drinkers than central and southern Thailand.

Top 5 Thai provinces drinking the most alcohol

  1. Nan
  2. Chiang Rai
  3. Phrae
  4. Mukdahan
  5. Phayao

Top 5 Thai provinces drinking the least alcohol

  1. Yala
  2. Pattani
  3. Narathiwat
  4. Phang Nga
  5. Sing Buri

The same survey was last conducted five years ago in 2017. The five provinces drinking the least alcohol have not changed since 2017, said the doctor.

Interestingly, the provinces drinking the most have changed since 2017. Lampang province moved from 1st to 22nd place, Chantha Buri moved from 4th to 18th and Sukhothai moved from 5th to 17th place.

Northern Thailand and northeast Thailand are home to more heavy drinkers compared with central and southern Thailand, in both 2017 and 2021.

Since 2008, the Thai Health Promotion Foundation and the Stop Drink Network Organisation (SDN Thailand) have run a campaign entitled “Giving Liquor = Curse” (ให้เหล้า = แช่ง).

The campaign suggests that giving someone alcohol as a gift is equivalent to putting a curse upon them since alcohol is the root of many accidents and diseases.

Thailand is notorious for road accidents and road deaths. It comes as no surprise that drink-driving was found to be the cause of 29.51% of the 2,707 road accidents recorded in just seven days between December 29, 2021, to January 4, 2022. Road accidents always increase during the holidays.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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