Young people are changing attitudes to drinking and drug-taking

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A WARWICKSHIRE Champion in tackling drinking and drug-taking has welcomed a new report which shows young people’s attitudes to this behaviour are changing.

Substance Misuse Strategy Team Manager Paul Hooper from the county’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team is impressed with the figures revealed in a National Centre for Social Research report last week which shows young people are becoming less tolerant of alcohol and drug use.

The report uses 2010 survey data from a sample of over 7000 secondary schools pupils and makes some interesting observations about young people’s shifting attitudes toward smoking, drugs and alcohol.

Less young people are drinking alcohol according to the survey which reports that 45 per cent of pupils said they had drunk alcohol once or more in 2010 compared to 61 per cent in 2003.

Their tolerance of drinking and drunkenness among their peers has also reduced. For example, in 2010, 32 per cent agreed that it was acceptable for someone of their age to drink alcohol once a week, compared with 46 per cent in 2003.

The survey also revealed that pupils’ drinking behaviour is influenced by the views and behaviour of their families, with young people being less likely to drink if their parents disapprove, and more likely to drink if this is tolerated at home.

Just over half of pupils (51 per cent) said their families didn’t like them drinking. Almost as many (48 per cent) said their families didn’t mind them drinking, as long as they didn’t drink too much, with a very small proportion (1 per cent) who said their parents let them drink as much as they like.

Similar downward trends were reported in the young people’s attitude to drugs and smoking.