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Over a third of teens are drinkers

Published on 15/12/2004

15 December 2004

BRUSSELS – Some 36 percent of Belgian 15 and 16-year-olds admit to having drunk alcohol 40 times, it was reported on Wednesday.

Belgium was ranked 11th out of 35 countries in a survey of 100 000 European teenagers on drink and drugs.

Danish teenagers drink the most, with half of them saying they had consumed alcohol 40 times, while Turkish adolescents drank the least, at only 7 percent.

Belgium is about average in Europe when it comes to teenage drinking – a little worse than France (22 percent), but better than the Netherlands (45 percent) and the UK (43 percent).

A total of 2,320 Belgian school children were interviewed for the study by researchers at the Free Universities of Brussels – the French-speaking ULB and its Flemish equivalent, the VUB.

Researchers found 7 percent of Belgian teens had got drunk in 2003.

Flemish teens drink more often than Walloons and boys drink more than girls.

When it comes to drugs, a third of the Belgian teens admitted they had taken illegal substances – a figure which means Belgian teens are the ninth highest users out of the 35 countries polled.

Wallon girls smoke more cigarettes and cannabis than Flemish girls the same age, however, Flemish boys smoke more than their Wallon peers.

When asked if they had smoked more than 40 cigarettes in their life, almost a third of Belgian teens (27 percent) said they had – about the European average. Fractionally more boys answered yes (28) than girls (26 percent).

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news