The study by Punchy Drinks surveyed drinkers aged 18 and above, and revealed that people of all ages feel peer pressure to drink, but that it appears less likely as people get older.
The survey also revealed that young people are up to twice as likely to admit that they have had a negative relationship with alcohol, compared with those aged 55 or older.
Paddy Cavanagh-Butler, founder of Punchy Drinks, said: “The whole point of going out with friends, whether you’re drinking or not, is to have fun. So it’s never nice to hear that so many of us, particularly young people, experience anxiety and pressure over alcohol – whether we choose to drink or not.
“As a society, we should be doing everything we can to alleviate this, starting by making clear that a night out doesn’t have to be a straight choice between getting drunk and total abstinence. And, as more sophisticated, better tasting non-alcoholic options enter the market, that’s never been truer. People who know their limits can have a few drinks and switch to a tasty, non-alcoholic alternative.”
When asked why they felt pressure to drink, young people most commonly said they didn’t want to feel like they were missing out (45%) or that they didn’t want to come across as boring (32%).
The report found that UK drinkers consume alcohol an average of one in every three social outings, and that men are more likely than women to cave to peer pressure because they don’t want to be labelled as boring – 37% and 27% respectively.