"The Schools Health Education Unit has gained a reputation as one of the most reliable sources of information about young people's health." BBC
I did various things on the BBC yesterday, mostly about alcohol and young people: overall, fewer young people drink but there's a few going well over the top. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-15511823
I got back to work today to find a ticking off in my mailbox from the British Beer & Pub Association. They explained that I was out of date in what I said about increasing alcohol consumption in the adult population. That may have been true up to 2004.
I think the last authoritative thing I read on the subject was the Rowntree review from 2009 (http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/drinking-in-the-uk). David Foxcroft and Lesley Smith state early on that "Overall, there has been an increase in average weekly consumption for both men and women since 1992 in Great Britain".
You can see the increase in consumption at home on this chart: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/may/26/alcohol-consumption-...
But that 2009 report is looking mostly at older figures, while some more recent figures for overall consumption in and out of the home do indeed show a drop, which, intriguingly, precedes the economic recession. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12397254 esp. http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/48969000/gif/_48969145_alcohol_com...
As with other trends (like the mid-1990s drop in substance use by young people), the picture may only clarify when looking back a few years hence.