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Friday 21st October 2016

Pre-teens drinking problems

23rd January 2008

A poll of young people has revealed that almost half of youngsters start drinking before they reach the age of 13.


In the research carried out in a national youth programme, figures show that 42% started drinking before they were 13, with 29% saying they drink to get drunk.

The study covered 1,250 people aged 10-19 who were members of the Positive Futures scheme, a Home Office-funded initiative in some of the country’s most deprived communities.

A quarter of those questioned admitted their drinking had led to trouble with the police and half said drinking had been a factor in fights and aggression. Others said it led to vandalism and sexual irresponsibility.

Clare Checksfield, chief executive of Crime Concern, which manages the Positive Futures programme, said: “Young people are taking risks with their health and with their future by getting involved in alcohol related violence.?

Some 52% said they bought their alcohol from local shops with 22% getting it at home while many said their parents did not care about them drinking. Beer was the most popular drink followed by spirits, cider and wine with young people saying they drank because it looked like fun, though nearly 20% said they wanted to experiment with it.

Ms Checksfield said it was important to involve parents and peer groups in tackling the wider drinking culture problem.

The children’s mental health charity Young Minds said the survey showed the importance of co-ordinated support and education to help children manage daily stress in their lives.


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