Ipsos Mori survey shows 24% of 11- to 15-year-olds have taken drugs

A survey conducted by Ipsos Mori has revealed new figures of how many English children aged 11 to 15 have either had an alcoholic drink, smoked a cigarette, or taken drugs.

The data was collected from some12,051 students from 177 schools.
The data was collected from some12,051 students from 177 schools.

The figures - published in a report by NHS Digital on Smoking, Drinking, and Drug Use among Young People - saw some 12,051 students from 177 schools across England asked questions under exam conditions about their lifestyles in 2016.

It was revealed that some 44% of the anonymous 11- to 15-year-olds who were interviewed had tried an alcoholic drink, while 24% had taken drugs, and 19% had smoked a cigarette.

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While one in five pupils admitted to having smoked, the percentage still represents a significant fall from 1996 when 49% had tried a cigarette. The data also revealed that girls (20%) were slightly more likely to have ever smoked than boys (18%), but that just 3% of pupils smokedat least one cigarette a week.

With regards to alcohol consumption, girls (11%) were once again more likely than boys (7%) to have been drunk in the previous four weeks, while the figures on how many pupils had taken drugs showed an increase of 9% from 2014, which could be attributed to the addition of questions on nitrous oxide and New Psychoactive Substances.