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Home > Drinking, smoking and illicit drug use amongst 15 & 16 year old school students in Northern Ireland.

Miller, Patrick and Plant, Martin (2001) Drinking, smoking and illicit drug use amongst 15 & 16 year old school students in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

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This report describes the main findings from a survey of self-reported alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use amongst a representative sample of 15-16 year old students in secondary schools in Northern Ireland. Data collection took place between March and June 1999. Information was elicited from a total of 723 students from 71 schools. Students completed a standardised questionnaire under exam conditions.

The results indicated that the overwhelming majority (approximately 90%) of respondents had at some time consumed alcohol, that two thirds had at some time smoked cigarettes and that nearly 40% of boys and 30% of girls had used some form of illicit drug, mainly cannabis or volatile solvents. The results of this 1999 survey were compared with the 1995 ESPAD study. This revealed that there had been a rise in the proportion of boys consuming five or more drinks in a row. There had also been a significant increase in illicit drug use amongst girls.


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