Scotland: Alcohol Use Rising in Teens
According to data from a new survey, alcohol use is rising among teens of Scotland.
The Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (Salsus) for 2018 surveyed about 21,000 second-year and fourth-year pupils from 325 secondary schools.
The survey has found that 13- and 15-year-olds who said they had ever used alcohol, been intoxicated, or consumed alcohol in the previous week (which was in decline till 2004) has increased again.
It also said drug use among 13- and 15-year-olds decreased in the decade to 2013 but had been increasing since.
Key statistics about alcohol use among adolescents
- 36% of 13-year-olds and 71% of 15-year-olds had ever had an alcoholic drink.
- 53% of 13-year-olds and 70% of 15-year-olds, who had ever had alcohol, had been intoxicated at least once.
- 6% of 13-year-olds and 20% of 15-year-olds had consumed alcohol in the week before the survey.
- The most common location for alcohol use was at home.
- The number of pupils who had used alcohol in the week before the survey increased in all groups except 15-year-old girls.6
Public health campaigners are calling for more action to curb alcohol consumption and harm among Scotting adolescents.
The Scottish government has said that they are determined to “go further to protect children and young people from alcohol harm”.
We know that children and young people in Scotland find alcohol appealing and that alcohol advertising contributes to this and we plan to consult on a range of alcohol marketing restrictions in spring next year,” said a spokeswoman for the government as per BBC.
In September IOGT International reported that the Scottish Children’s Parliament called for stronger alcohol control following a report in which they found alcohol was very visible in children’s lives.
There has been growing traction for the Alcohol Framework published last year by the Scottish government which promises a consultation on potential measures in Spring 2020, including mandatory restrictions on alcohol marketing, to protect children and young people.
Such a policy framework along with the minimum unit pricing recently introduced in Scotland can modify the growing alcohol use among teens and help prevent resulting harm in years to come.