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Teen drinking still a 'worry'

4th September 2007

A national poll conducted by the Information Centre has shown fewer teenagers are consuming alcoholic drinks, but those who do are drinking more.


The survey of 8,200 11 to 15-year-olds, from 290 schools in England, revealed 21% drank alcohol the week before. It showed a reduction of 5%, as the figure was 26% in 2001.

Among respondents who admitted to having a drink, the average consumption was 11.4 units per week, an increase from 10.4 units in 2000.

The survey asked young people about their smoking, drug and alcohol use. It showed that boys were more likely to drink more than girls. Boys drank an average of 12.3 units a week, while girls consumed an average of 10.5 units.

53% of the respondents said they thought their parents did not object to them drinking, provided they did not overindulge. Over a fifth were provided with alcohol by a parent and over a quarter by a friend.

A spokesman for Alcohol Concern said: "There is a sense that alcohol is innocuous. Some parents are relieved that their children are only drinking and not smoking or taking drugs."

"We have to get over the cultural misconception that alcohol is safe."

The government has commissioned research in order to discover how alcohol impacts teenagers' development. It has also launched a responsible drinking programme, with the aim of aiding teenagers and parents to make the right decisions about alcohol.

Health Minister Ben Bradshaw said: "Despite these promising figures, we do recognise that there is still more to do."

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Article Information

Title: Teen drinking still a 'worry'
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 3971
Date Added: 4th Sep 2007


BBC News

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