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Child drug use in NI 'highest in EU'

21st September 2009

A Youth Development Survey by Queen's University has found that one in 10 children aged below 12 years of age in Northern Ireland has tried taking cannabis.

45% of teenagers aged under 18 had experimented with the drug. Dr Patrick McCrystal, a senior research fellow at the university's Institute for Child Care Research, said the information was significant because cannabis was "often considered the 'gateway' drug to more serious substance abuse. Of the young people who had tried cannabis, around one in ten went on to use it on a weekly basis by the age of 16."

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