The prevalence and frequency of drug use amongst children has been reducing year on year, but in some areas, the fight to ensure reduction in use of legal and illegal substances is more difficult.
Many so-called called ‘Legal highs’ have prompted a recent spike in usage statistics, revealing a new audience who might otherwise have rejected drug-taking.
The introduction of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 has largely halted the flow of these substances, but already loopholes are being exploited which in the short term have enabled their continued indiscriminate sale.
Here are some recent statistics relating to drug use amongst young people in England in 2014:
- Between 2001 and 2010 drug use amongst 11 to 15 year olds actually declined quite markedly, but since then, the rate of reduction has lessened.
- In 2014, 15% of pupils had ever taken drugs; 10% had taken them in the last year and 6% in the last month. This is only a little less than the levels of use recorded in 2011 and 2012.
- Boys and girls aged 14-15 were equally as likely to have taken drugs.
- Cannabis was the most widely used drug among 11 to 15 year olds in 2014, with 7% of pupils reporting having taken it in the last year.
- Half of pupils (51%) had heard of legal highs, awareness ranging from 21% of 11 year olds to 74% of 15 year olds. Some 2.5% of pupils reported having ever taken legal highs, including 2.0% who had taken them in the last year and 0.9% who had taken them in the last month.
Source: Copyright © 2016 Health and Social Care Information Centre. All rights reserved: Statistics on Drug Misuse, England, 2016 (Pt4)