Alcoholism among the youth often starts with the consideration that getting drunk is often seen by them as a part of being accepted into a social group, new research has suggested.

Research conducted in Britain indicates that several young people actually believe that getting drunk with their friends helps gain acceptability into a social group and marks out their identity within such networks.

In fact, the researchers believe that anti-drinking campaigns of the future needs to be formulated with this social aspect of alcoholism in mind, says a press release issued by the British Psychological Society.

"Extreme inebriation is often seen as a source of personal esteem and social affirmation among young people. Our detailed research interviews reveal that tales of alcohol-related mishaps and escapades are key markers of young people's social identity," says Christine Griffin, of the University of Bath, in the release.

The study was conducted by Griffin and her colleagues after a detailed analysis of drinking related advertisements and a survey of young drinkers in a city and two towns located in semi-rural areas. The findings of the study were presented at a conference organized by the British Psychological Society last week.

Griffin says the culture of intoxication has become an all-but-compulsory aspect of many young people's social lives. Getting drunk with friends often insulates young people from viewing their level of alcohol consumption as a potential problem, deepening bonds of friendship and cementing group membership.

Given this reality, future ad campaigns must aim to change a young person's drinking habits based on their need to take social importance of drinking into account. Of course, it should also take note of the pervasive availability of cheap deals on alcohol, the release says.