8/17/2005

Research reveals 16-year-olds' diet of drugs, sex, booze and cigs

The annual Northern Ireland-wide survey of 16-year-olds is undertaken by ARK - a joint project between Queen's University Belfast and the University of Ulster (Ulster Polytechnic)
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I will give my reactions to the findings

"Sixteen per cent of 16-year-old boys in the North have taken illegal drugs"

I have never and would never take any kind of illegal drug; they are a scourge of society. That said having worked in nightclubs from the age of 14 I am surprised the figure is so low.

"Almost 70% of the youths surveyed as part of the Young Life and Times (YLT) Survey had drunk alcohol a few or many times."

I started drinking at 15 so I can't really say much.

"Twenty per cent of the boys and 15% of the girls said they had had sex."

I lost my virginity at 16 so according to this I was the exception, funny how all of the boys pretend they are having sex when they are not, peer pressure I suspect.

"Nearly 40% of the girls and over 30% of the boys have smoked cigarettes"

I was smoking from the age of 14 but not heavy until my parents separated at 16. It's weird, I found once I was allowed to smoke in the house I smoked a lot more.

Gone are the days when a 20 deck would last me from Monday to Friday.

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