The Department of Health in Spain are focussed on the 14-18 year old group and their consumption of drugs. What they have found is that, although the number of young people consuming alcohol has risen, the number who admit to binge drinking has reduced. In 2010, 65.7% admitted to binge drinking. In the latest survey the percentage had dropped to 47.3%. However, it is still worrying that 72.3% admitted to consuming alcohol and that the average age was 14.7.
Of other bad habits, 28.1% said they smoked tobacco, 17.9% said they smoked cannabis, 3% took tranquilisers without prescription and 1.6% said they used cocaine. On the plus side the age that these young people started smoking tobacco was 16.8 years.
Regarding the increase in smoking cannabis, the Department of Health says this is due to the perception that the drug presents a low risk and its ready availability to young people.
Reflecting on my own experience, I started smoking cigarettes at the age of 17 but was not a regular smoker until I’d reached 19. I first went into a pub with friends when I was 17 but again did not drink regularly (i.e. once a week) until I was at least 18. I have never been tempted to smoke cannabis nor have I indulged in any other form of Class A or B drugs.