Daily Archives: 13/03/2015

Scottish schoolchildren turn against alcohol

This was featured in the January edition of the Institute of Alcohol Studies

Scottish teenagers appear to be turning against the alcohol and drug culture favoured by their parents, according to the latest findings from the 2013 Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS).

Percentage of pupils who drank alcohol in the week before the survey; by age group and gender, Scotland, 1990-2013

salsus-graph

The research was commissioned by the Scottish Government and undertaken by Information Services (ISD Scotland), National Services Scotland and Ipsos MORI Scotland.

In relation to Alcohol use, the main finding was that the proportion of 13 and 15 year olds who reported drinking in the last week was the lowest since the survey series began monitoring drinking behaviour in 1990 (4% of 13 year olds and 19% of 15 year olds).  The proportion of pupils who reported drinking alcohol in the last week decreased between 2010 and 2013 (from 14% to 4% for 13 year olds and from 34% to 19% for 15 year olds). In 2013, the proportion of pupils who reported never having had a proper alcoholic drink was higher for both age groups than at any time since 1996 (68% of 13 year olds and 30% of 15 year olds.

There were also marked changes in attitudes towards alcohol use. Since the previous survey, there was a reduction in the proportion of both 13 and 15 year olds who thought it was okay for someone their age to try drinking alcohol to see what it is like (from 52% in 2010 to 42% in 2013 for 13 year olds; from 82% in 2010 to 77% in 2013 for 15 year olds).

The proportion of pupils who thought it was okay for someone of their age to try getting drunk has also declined since 2010(from 13% to 8% for 13 year olds; from 46% to 39% for 15 year olds). Under half (44%) of 13 year olds who had ever had an alcoholic drink had been drunk at least once, compared with over two thirds (70%) of 15 year olds.

Smoking and Other Drugs

Similar declines were also found in relation to smoking and the use of drugs other than alcohol.

Smoking

2% of 13 year olds and 9% of 15 year olds surveyed reported being a regular smoker. The proportion of 13 and 15 year olds who reported being regular smokers in 2013 was the lowest since the survey series began in 1982.

The proportion of pupils who reported that they had never smoked increased from 45% in 2002 to 76% in 2013.

Drug Use

18% of 15 year olds and 4% of 13 year olds reported ever taking drugs. The proportion of pupils who reported that they had used drugs in the month before the survey was the lowest since the survey series began in 1998

(9% of 15 year olds and 2% of 13 year olds)

The proportion of pupils who reported that they had never used drugs was higher in 2013 than at any time since the survey series began in 1998 (82% of 15 year olds and 96% of 13 year olds).

I am loving Scotland right now and what they are doing – and these figures suggest it’s working.  Go Scotland!! 🙂