Montreal high school students are drinking less and doing fewer drugs: study

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High school students in Montreal are spending less time drinking alcohol and doing drugs than their counterparts five years ago, according to Montreal Public Health.

The figures were revealed in the second edition of the Enquête québécoise sur la santé des jeunes du secondaire (EQSJS) conducted from 2016 to 2017, which compares numbers from the previous 2010 - 2011 survey.

According to the EQSJS, 41 per cent of young people admitted to drinking alcohol, compared to 47 per cent in the previous study.

Fifty-four per cent said they've experienced an episode of excessive drinking, compared to 62 per cent.

“Young people in high school who have a problem with alcohol and drugs consumption are more likely to have low self-control, a risk of not finishing school and low parental supervision,” the study finds.

When it comes to drugs, 16 per cent of teens indicated they’ve consumed some type of substance in the last year, compared to 20 per cent five years prior.

Montreal Public Health confirmed cannabis is still the most consumed drug for high schoolers, with 14 per cent admitting they’ve tried cannabis in the last year, compared to 19 per cent five years earlier.

Officials say they are hoping to use this information to continue encouraging young people to avoid consuming alcohol and drugs illegally.

“The consumption habits that occur during adolescence are important predictors of problems that can be experienced in adulthood,” they state.

“[There are] links between problematic substance use and the personal skills of young people and the family environment.”

The study looks at the evolution of alcohol and drug use among high school students according to prevalence, frequency of use, age of initiation, consumption intensity and problematic consumption.