Latvian teenage girls binge on alcohol: survey

  • 2007-03-12
  • From wire reports
As many as 93 percent of 15-16 year-old girls living in Riga use alcohol on a regular basis, and every third teenager of the same age has used drugs at least once.
These are the results obtained in as yet unfinished survey carried out by the Riga Addiction Prevention Center.
The center's deputy director Andris Andersons addressed a seminar that discussed the distribution of drugs in clubs, discos and schools on March 9.
The survey sought the opinions of 4,000 teenagers, aged 15 to 16 from various schools in Riga.
A large number of 15-16 year old teenagers use alcohol routinely, and have either previously tried or are still using drugs, Andersons said.
At least 93 percent of girls and 80 percent of boys use alcohol at regular intervals, and every third boy and every fifth girl has been drunk over the last month, he said.
Drugs are not a novelty to 38 percent of boys and 26 percent of girls. Marijuana tops the list with 26 polled boys and 19 percent of girls admitting its use. Ecstasy has been tried by 8 percent of boys and 6 percent of girls, but almost 3 percent of the polled schoolchildren used harder drugs.
The poll revealed that 8 percent of teenagers had tried drugs at the age of 11 or even earlier.
As a reason for resorting to drugs 62 percent of respondents mentioned their peer pressure, with only 15 percent of teenagers being of the opinion that the use of drugs is out of question.
Almost all, or 90 percent of the young people, said that they were offered to use drugs by a close friend or acquaintance, and 77 percent of youth received drugs from their best friend.