According to a government survey in the UK almost half of all youngsters between the age of 10 and 15 say they have consumed alcohol. This survey on the lifestyles and concerns of children has revealed startling drug and alcohol abuse problems.
The online 'TellUs2' survey for watchdog Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) interviewed 111,000 children and teenagers and found that 14 per cent of children in the 12-15 age group said they had experimented with drugs such as cannabis.
Another 48 per cent of youngsters between the age of 10 and 15 said they had consumed alcohol while 16 per cent of youngsters from 14-15 said they had gotten drunk at least three times in the preceding four weeks.
The top three biggest concerns in life, for most children, were exams followed by friendship problems and school work.
51 per cent said they were worried about assessment at school while 39 per cent said problems with their peers worried them.
Health concerns and career worries came in fourth and fifth respectively as issues that troubled children and teenagers and Ofsted's chief inspector of education Christine Gilbert has demanded that the government act on the survey's findings.
Gilbert says though the survey presents much that is positive about life for children and young people today it is clear that more needs to be done to address children and young people's worries and concerns about how safe they feel, exams and tests, and what would help them to learn better.
She has called on policy makers, local authorities and schools to look hard at the findings and use them to influence their plans and actions.
The results will form the basis for inspections and Government targets; Children's Secretary Ed Balls says this is a time of unprecedented opportunity for children and young people but the survey also shows there are challenges and pressures that need to be addressed with decisive action.