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26.03.2009 16:32
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Survey: Alcohol Consumption Up among Adolescents

Ljubljana, 26 March (STA) - Regular alcohol consumption is increasing among Slovenian adolescents, a European survey on drug and alcohol abuse has found. The percentage of Slovenian juveniles consuming alcohol is above international average, Eva Stergar of the Clinical Institute of Occupational, Traffic and Sports Medicine of the Ljubljana UKC hospital said.

Some 87% of Slovenian high-school students who participated in the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) had consumed alcohol in the past year, which is above international average of 82%, Stergar said at a press conference on Thursday.

The percentage of Slovenian adolescents consuming alcohol increased compared to ESPAD surveys from previous years. The situation is alarming, Stergar pointed out.

Some 58% of the respondents have smoked a cigarette in their life, while 29% of them had a smoke in the month before the survey and 2% smoke 20 or more cigarettes a day.

The percentage of Slovenian high-school students who smoked in the month before the survey levels with the international average. The percentage of Slovenian 16-year-olds who smoke on a regular basis is nevertheless on the decrease.

A third of the ESPAD respondents have access to cannabis, while as many as 47% Slovenian adolescents have access to this illegal drug.

Some 23% of youths and 17% of young girls have tried an illegal drug in their life. Some 19% of the respondents have tried cannabis and 7% of them have tried illegal drugs other than cannabis.

About 3% of adolescents have experimented with ecstasy, cocaine and amphetamines, little more than 1% has experience with LSD, while some 2% of adolescents have tried crack and 1% have tried heroin.

Consumption of illegal drugs increased from 12% to 21% in the period between 1995 and 2003, while it dropped to 18% in 2007.

The percentage of Slovenian respondents who have tried cannabis pretty much levels with the 2007 ESPAD average.

Illegal drug taking decreased among Slovenian adolescents for all drugs except cocaine, where the percentage of juveniles who have tried it went up to 3%.

Slovenia has a relatively high percentage of those who have experimented with inhalants. Some 16% of Slovenian juveniles admitted they had inhaled drugs, which is almost double the 2007 ESPAD average.

The survey was conducted in 2007 among 105,000 high-school students born in 1991, 3,085 of them were Slovenians.

26.03.2009 16:32

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