Canadian parents got some good news this week, when a study of nearly 30,000 youth in British Columbia revealed that fewer young people are using alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs:
Twenty-nine percent of 13-year-olds said they have drunk alcohol, down from 34 percent five years earlier. For 15-year-olds, 58 percent said they had drunk alcohol, down from 65 percent in 2003. ...
"With all the negative stereotyping we see and hear about young people in our province, it is encouraging to note that smoking, alcohol use and marijuana use have all declined since the last survey in 2003," Annie Smith, executive director of the [McCreary Centre Society, which conducted the study] after the report was released.
The survey indicates that the typical age when kids first try marijuana is 13 and 14, but the overall number of youth who have tried marijuana shrank from 37 percent in 2003 to 30 percent in 2008. (Source: The Vancouver Sun)
The news wasn't all good, reported Sun
writer Pamela Fayerman. "While use of alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and amphetamines declined, the number of students who said they had ever used other drugs, like prescription pills (15 per cent) and hallucinogens (nine per cent), increased slightly," Fayerman wrote.
Any level of adolescent substance abuse
is, of course, cause for concern -- and the Canadian study indicates that much work remains to be done. But the recent news out of Canada will surely be heartening to parents, teachers, and others who are working to keep young people away from alcohol and other drugs.
Labels: alcohol, adolescence, canada, drugs, teenagers
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