Poll Shows Extent of School Drug Use

More than one-third of young people have attended school under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to a new survey. The survey, released yesterday, was commissioned by the entertainment channel MTV and carried out by Tpoll. It asked 1,103 young people aged 16 to 24 about their attitudes to drink and drugs.

The poll found that 35% – 334 – of the young people had either been drunk or influenced by drugs in the classroom. Some 30% of the respondents admitted to having been drunk at school and 16% – including some who also admitted to school drunkenness – said they had been under the influence of drugs in the classroom.

Boys proved more likely to turn up to school under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the survey found. Some 34% of boys interviewed had been at school after drinking, compared with 26% of girls, and 20% had been affected by drugs at school compared with 11% of girls.

Cannabis remained the most tried drug, with 49% of all the young people interviewed having used it. Although 4% of the respondents had tried cocaine, 12% ecstasy, 1% crack cocaine and 1% heroin, 50% said they had not taken any drug.

A greater percentage of boys had tried all five drugs: 51% of boys had tried cannabis versus 47% of girls, 16% had tried cocaine compared with 12% of girls, 14% had taken ecstasy versus 10% of the girls and 2% had used crack cocaine compared with 1%. Only 1% of each sex had tried heroin.