Saturday 16 January 2021

Dutch teens drink a lot, when they do drink, but are smoking less

Dutch teenagers are smoking less than they used to but are among the heaviest drinkers in Europe, according to new research covering youngsters in 35 European countries.

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction publishes a report on the continent’s 15 and 16-year-olds every four years. The new edition, based on data collected in 2019, involved almost 100,000 teenagers.

It shows that Dutch teenagers say they have drunk alcohol an average of six times in the month of the survey, putting them in 13th place in the ranking. But in terms of the volume of alcohol they drink, they shoot into third place, behind Danish and Norwegian teens.

Few Dutch teenagers – just 5.3% – say they smoke every day, putting them in 30th place in the ranking, which is topped by Bulgaria.

One in five have tried smoking cannabis, which is well above the European average of 16%, and 13% have smoked it in the month before the survey, putting the Netherlands on a par with France and just behind Italy at the top of the marijuana users list.

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While slightly more Dutch teenagers have tried ecstasy (3.5% compared with the European average of 2.3%), they are less likely than others to have used other drugs such as amphetamines, cocaine and LSD, the survey found.

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