Children growing up in rural counties are more likely to experiment with alcohol and drugs than youngsters living in cities, according to research published today.
Academics suggested a lack of recreational activities in country areas was leading teenagers to fill their time with drinking and trying illegal drugs.
Dr David Regis, from the Exeter-based SHEU youth research group, said the findings undermined the image of the countryside as an “idyllic” place to bring up children.
It is not unusual for young people to complain that no-one listens to them. The remarkable thing about the four groups of teenagers from the countryside who worked with us on this project was that they believed us that if they told their stories of how life is in rural areas,warts and all, important people would listen. They told us many good things – for example, several described the beauty of their environment – but we also heard a lot about feeling bored and isolated, with alcohol often being used to make it more bearable. Illegal drugs were also becoming more readily available, despite the denial of this reality by local communities. Not only did they tell us about their problems and frustrations, they also made suggestions about how things could be improved for themselves and others like them.
Mentor are doing further work on Coastal and Ex-Mining Areas which will report in the near future.
The Daily Mail also report the SHEU findings:
Middle class children growing up in rural counties are more likely to experiment with alcohol and drugs than youngsters living in cities, according to research.