NHS Digital is calling on selected secondary schools across England to take part in a statistical survey that will measure the use of alcohol, nicotine, and drugs in young people.
Pupils undergo the Smoking Drinking and Drug Use among young people in England, questionnaire anonymously under exam conditions in selected schools.
The survey began in 1982 and has been used by the Government to monitor trends and behaviours and gain a better understanding of the impact of alcohol, nicotine, and drugs on children aged 11–15.
It provides vital information, which is used by central and local government to better understand these behaviours and to develop policies, plan services and new initiatives, and to monitor and evaluate their impact.
The data is also used by a wide variety of other organisations, including Public Health England, NHS England, charities, and voluntary organisations. Academic institutions also use the data for research purposes.
The 2021 report will be published by NHS Digital next year and is accredited with National Statistics status, while the survey itself will be carried out by Ipsos MORI.
It will include information on the percentage of pupils who have ever smoked, drunk alcohol, or taken drugs. The report also surveys the attitudes and behaviours of secondary school pupils towards smoking, drinking, and drugs and is analysed in relation to a range of demographics including age, gender, ethnicity and geography.
The Smoking, Drinking and Drugs (SDD) survey data was used to help make the case for the legislation implemented in 2015 which banned adults smoking in cars when children are present.
Gary Childs, Head of Delivery for Analytical Services at NHS Digital, said: ‘Without schools volunteering to participate in the smoking, drinking and drugs survey, the NHS and the Government would not be able to understand the habits and attitudes of young people and how these have changed during the pandemic. We are therefore extremely grateful to all those schools and pupils that give up their valuable time and resources to take part.’
More information about the SDD survey can be found on the NHS Digital website. You can view the 2018 report here.
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