Tuesday 20 August 2019 / 12:14 PM Jonathan Ashworth / NHS

Teens drinking to forget their problems – Jonathan Ashworth responds

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, responding to official figures released today showing high levels of teenage drinking, said:


“These figures, showing over half of adolescents believe their peers are drinking to ‘forget their problems’ and around a quarter of school pupils admitting to taking drugs, are deeply concerning. They’re especially worrying after last week’s news that drug misuse deaths are at their highest, and that admissions to hospital for alcohol related problems are increasing.


“With public health budgets being slashed, it’s been shown yet again the Tories simply don’t care about and can’t be trusted with the NHS.


“The next Labour government will implement a fully funded strategy to respond to growing addiction problems in society – beginning by reversing public health cuts.”




Notes to editors


NHSE has published new stats today on smoking, drinking and drug use in young people. They show that:


  • 10% of pupils said they had drunk alcohol in the last week
  • This varied from 2% of 11 year olds and 3% of 12 year olds, to 23% of 15 year olds
  • 22% of 15 year olds reported having been drunk in the last four weeks.
  • 24% of pupils reported they had ever taken drugs
  • This varied from 9% of 11 year olds, to 38% of 15 year olds
  • 9% of pupils said that they had taken drugs in the last month
  • 53% of 11 – 15 year olds reported that their friends “drink to forget their problems”