Ireland: Alcohol Most Widely Used Drug Among Teens
In Ireland alcohol is the most widely used drug among teens, a new government study finds.
The study, which looked into substance use among 15 to 24 year olds, found:
- Over three-quarters (78%) of young Irish people have tried alcohol;
- 10% had tried MDMA; and
- 7% had taken cocaine in the past.
The findings come after a Lancet study found Irish youth to be the third highest binge alcohol users in the world. It was found that 61% of girls and 58.8% of boys in Ireland engage in binge alcohol consumption.
86 young lives (below 24 years) were taken due to alcohol and other drug addiction in 2016, with a further 629 under 18 year olds receiving help for addiction.
As the WHO Europe reports, alcohol per capita consumption and binge alcohol use among irish youth are both higher than the average of their European counterparts.
Alcohol is attributed to 21.7% deaths among 15 to 19 year olds and 24.9% deaths among 20 to 24 year olds, both of which are again above the WHO European average.
Tackling alcohol and drug harm among youth
To tackle the problem secondary schools will soon be taught a new programme on alcohol and drugs in SPHE, as a way of educating them on the dangers of them and precautions that must be considered.
The Department of Health also released a new resource “Know the Score” which is an evidence-based support system that aims
- to build cultural awareness of attitudes towards alcohol in Ireland,
- explain the impact of alcohol on the body and the brain,
- sensitize about the influences of alcohol branding and sponsorship,
- provide information on how to provide emergency care if they are concerned about someone who has been using alcohol or other drugs.
Know the Score is a good example of the partnership working to promote the health and well-being of our young people, and to support teachers and schools in the important work they do as part of the wider Healthy Ireland agenda,” said Health Minister Simon Harris, as per The Irish Post.