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Coventry Teens Reveal Health And Drugs Fears

More than a fifth of Coventry school pupils aged between 12 and 15 have been offered illegal drugs, according to a major survey.

The study, the first of its kind in Coventry, was conducted among 16 secondary schools and involved over 3,000 pupils.

Results from the survey are being used by Coventry Health Authority to plan services for young people and to see what sort of health education is needed to stop problems recurring.

The survey, which was carried out between March and July in 1999, revealed that Coventry youngsters face many of the same issues that have cropped up in national figures.

It found:

  • More than 20 per cent of those questioned said they had been offered illegal drugs – a similar figure to national trends.
  • Two thirds said they were satisfied with their life “quite a lot” or “very much”.
  • Nearly three-quarters did homework in the evening prior to the survey, with over 40 per cent of these doing more than an hour.
  • Watching TV is the most reported leisure activity. Other past-times include playing computer games, reading, listening to music, playing sport, meeting friends and caring for pets.
  • Compared to national figures, smoking and drinking appears to be lower in Coventry.
  • More than 20 per cent sometimes feel afraid of going to school because of bullying
  • Nearly half would like to lose weight, but 11 per cent said they would like to put weight on.

Phil Deakin, Senior Health Promotion Specialist at Coventry Health Authority, said:

“This is the first survey of whole school years of Coventry school pupils and provides valuable information on their health and health-related behaviour.

“It provides a foundation on which to design services and support to improve their health.

“It should be borne in mind though, that, on the whole Coventry school pupils are normal healthy people, no different to other young people across England.

“However there are groups whose health and health-related behaviours give cause for concern and need additional support.

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CWN / Health / Coventry Health Authority / 30 May 00

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