Survey says 43% of seventh-graders have drunk alcohol

A survey of more than 1,500 seventh-grade students in 50 Latvia's schools has found that 43 percent of them have tried alcohol at least once, and 34 percent had tried alcohol before the age of 13, reported LETA newswire Monday. 

Marta Kale from the Go Beyond association told LETA that the study of the use of alcohol among seventh- to ninth-grade students commenced last fall and would run for three years.

The first round of the study has found, following interviews with 1,753 seventh-grade students, most of which (78.3 percent) were 13 years old, that 43 percent of them had tried alcohol at least once, and 34 percent had tried alcohol before the age of 13.

674 children said they had never tried alcohol. 756 children have tried alcohol, and 324 drink alcohol from time to time.

Furthermore, the majority of those who drink alcohol also smoke and drink energy drinks.

98 percent of those who said they drink alcohol and 94 percent of those who do not also said that they had never tried drugs. In total, 3 percent of those who have never tried alcohol have tried drugs, as have 1 percent of those who use alcohol, and 11 percent of those who have tried alcohol.

Other findings of the study are that most of those who drink liquor are boys, that most children who have tried alcohol did it at home, and in half of all cases it were adults who offered them to try alcohol. Teenagers who drink alcohol consider it a positive factor, as opposed to their peers who have never tried liquor and are aware of the damaging effect of alcohol.

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