The kids are all right

25/07/14 . Story

School pupils appear to be drinking less, smoking less and taking fewer drugs. Yes, LESS. In England anyway. 

New figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) bring good news for the end of summer term. In 2013:

  • 3% of pupils were regular smokers compared to 9% ten years earlier in 2003.
  • 9% of pupils had drunk alcohol in the last week - less than half the level in 2003 when this was 25%. 
  • 6% of school pupils had used illegal drugs in the last month which is again half the level in 2003 when this was 12%.

Less positively, there remains a core of about 2% of pupils - 1 in 50 - who report all three behaviours (smoking and drinking in the last week and having used drugs in the last month) and this is similar to figures reported in previous years.

The Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England in 2013 report is based on survey results of over 5,000 pupils (5,187) in 174 schools in the autumn term of 2013. 


The Men’s Health Forum need your support

It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. So we’re asking.

In the UK, one man in five dies before the age of 65. If we had health policies and services that better reflected the needs of the whole population, it might not be like that. But it is. Policies and services and indeed men have been like this for a long time and they don’t change overnight just because we want them to.

It’s true that the UK’s men don’t have it bad compared to some other groups. We’re not asking you to ‘feel sorry’ for men or put them first. We’re talking here about something more complicated, something that falls outside the traditional charity fund-raising model of ‘doing something for those less fortunate than ourselves’. That model raises money but it seldom changes much. We’re talking about changing the way we look at the world. There is nothing inevitable about premature male death. Services accessible to all, a population better informed. These would benefit everyone - rich and poor, young and old, male and female - and that’s what we’re campaigning for.

We’re not asking you to look at images of pity, we’re just asking you to look around at the society you live in, at the men you know and at the families with sons, fathers and grandads missing.

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