Young People and Drugs

Young People and Drugs

A survey suggests that Britain’s teenagers rank top amongst heavy drinkers and drug users in Europe. Interestingly though, almost 80% of young people between 11-15 years say they have never taken drugs. The problem starts from 15 years. The chances of pupils taking drugs increases with age, from 11% of 11-year-olds to 37% of 15-year-olds.

The European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs carried out a survey where 15 and 16-year olds in 35 countries were interviewed. From the interview, 29% of girls and 26% of boys in the UK had been involved in binge drinking (drinking five-plus alcoholic drinks in a row) not less than three times in the previous month. The same study found that 35% of girls and 42% of boys had once tried illegal drugs.

This period, 11-15 years, is the best time parents can make a big difference to the decisions that their children and wards make about drugs. To do this, you should

  • Pay attention to your children
  • Do not overly restrict your children, encourage independence
  • Have rules and consequences for breaking them. Rules should be fair and applied consistently
  • Encourage your children to express themselves and discuss their options in their lives

If you suspect that your kids are already taking drugs, do the following

  • Don’t panic. Stay calm and think of how best to address the situation. Show love and concern rather than anger
  • Talk to them – at the right time. Encourage them to talk to you honestly and give them the enabling condition
  • Know their friends
  • Be an excellent role model

The key to curbing drug abuse in teens is through early planning and detection. According to, below are some signs to look out for in your kids


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