The only thing that's new about binge drinking is the very expression itself.
Binge drinking. It's a very pejorative phrase, typical of an era where we are laden with soundbites and gimmicks and next to no action beyond the hand-wringing.
But aside from the expression, the practise of young teenagers getting bollocksed at the weekends while also trying to procure illicit alcohol from supermarkets and offies during the week was going on when I was that age. And when my parents were that age too.
Legally entitled teenagers are meanwhile being demonised by daring to be 18 and having a booze-up at the weekend, many of which will take place after a hard week of studying or working, despite what our media would have you believe about literally every person under 21 in this country being a sponging, boneidle scumbag.
Look, they may be doing some damage to themselves, but they're being young. I'm 36 soon and I learned a long time ago that rifling lager down my throat regularly was not doing me a great deal of good. To this day I find it hard to cope with hangovers. By the time this latest lot are in their mid-20s their fascination for copious quantities of alcohol will have dulled and they'll do it just as occasionally as the rest of us.
Of course there are people who ruin lives - their own and other people's - through heavy drinking, but these are in such a minority. Leave those who are committing no crime or damage by enjoying a pleasant drink or six to do exactly what they are entitled to. And this "holier than thou" attitude absolutely stinks - I wonder how many of these preaching hypocrites are teetotal?
Oh, and the reason Armenia has a better record than the UK for boozy teenagers, Mr Study Man On Big Commission, is because it is a poorer country and disposable income is substantially less than ours. Just be quiet, please. Go have a drink.