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Shocking statistics about youth and alcohol

Norwegian youth aged 15-20 drink almost twice as much as they did in the 1990s, according to a new national survey.

An average youth drinks 5.5 litres of alcohol every year. Boys in this age group drink the most, about 7 litres a year, whereas girls drink 4 litres.

This is close to twice as much as the consumption of the same age group in the 1990s. Until 1998 the consumption was 3 litres of alcohol, Aftenposten reports.

The survey was conducted in February this year. "The consumption is the highest we have registered since we started the national surveys in 1996", said Astrid Skretting at the research institute.

The researchers think the introduction of alco-pops in supermarkets in January this year is the main reason why the consumption has increased. For all the age groups in the survey, the consumption of alco-pops was higher that 1 litre a year.

15 and 16-year-olds prefer alco-pops to bee and the sweet, colourful drinks often come in addition to other drinks. The respondents were asked about illegal drugs as well. 25 percent of youth in Oslo have tried cannabis whereas the number is 17 percent for youth all over the country.

4 percent of youth in the capital have tried ecstasy and the number is 3 percent for the whole country. The number of youth who have tried cocaine has increased as well, from 1.5 to 3 percent.

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