Survey Reveals Latest Trends In Teenage Alcohol Use

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The findings of the most detailed international study of drinking, smoking and illicit drug use amongst 15 and 16 years old teenagers in 35 European countries will be presented at a press conference in London on 26 March 2009 at 09.30.

All journalists are welcome and free copies of the final report will be available.

The latest European School Survey Project on Alcohol and other Drugs (ESPAD)was carried out in 2007. The press conference will be chaired by Professor Ray Hodgson, Director of the Alcohol Education & Research Council (AERC).

Study findings will be presented and discussed by Professor Martin Plant and Dr Patrick Miller from the Alcohol and Health Research Unit at the University of the West of England, Bristol.

The topics to be discussed will include the latest national and international trends in teenage 'binge' drinking, intoxication, smoking, illicit drug use, the impact early alcohol consumption and parental control upon teenage drinking. These themes will be addressed in the context of recent trends in UK alcohol consumption and alcohol-related deaths.

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ESPAD was carried out previously in 1995, 1999 and 2003. These studies showed that:

•UK teenagers had the highest levels of illicit drug use in Europe (1995, 1999).

•UK teenagers continue to have very high levels of drug use, even though this had declined slightly in recent years (2003).

•UK teenagers reported high levels of recent tobacco smoking (1995).

•UK teenagers reported the highest level of smoking at the age of 13 years or younger (1999).

•UK teenagers had one of the highest levels of 'binge' drinking and intoxication in Europe (1995, 1999, 2003).

•Teenage girls in the British Isles were uniquely 'binge' drinking even more than teenage boys (2003).

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