1 in 10 teenagers in the UK has tried drugs such as cocaine or ecstasy before age 17

University College London (UCL) has done a study that researches the behaviours of Generation Z, which is a generational demographic of young people born around the year 2000.

Analysing the responses of close to 10,000 people, the study found that by the age of 17 nearly 1 in 10 UK teenagers has tried drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy.

It’s findings discovered that 31% of young people had tried the Class B drug cannabis by the age of 17, and 10% experimented with Class A substances or Class B narcotics such as ketamine, which are generally considered harder than cannabis.

53% were found to have indulged in binge drinking, and 9% said to have done it on 10 or more occasions in the past 12 months.

Teenagers with parents that had been educated at university were found to be more prone to binge drinking in comparison to those with parents who do not hold a university degree. Although findings showed drug use rates were similar across these two demographics.

Ethnicity was also taken into account, and white teenagers were found to be far more likely to have taken drugs than teenagers from other racial backgrounds

Professor Emla Fitzsimons is a co-author of the study, and said: “To some extent, experimental and risk-taking behaviours are an expected part of growing up and, for many, will subside in early adulthood.

Nevertheless, behaviours in adolescence can be a cause for concern as they can have adverse long-term consequences for individuals’ health and wellbeing, and their social and economic outcomes.

It remains to be seen how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected engagement in these behaviours.

The study also recorded anti-social behaviour and comparing results to similar studies from previous years. Assault fell from 32% at age 14 to 25% at age 17, while shoplifting rates rose from 4% to 7% from early to later teenaged years.

H/T: Independent


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