The results were taken from 83,724 young people across 1,100 UK primary and secondary schools.
Each pupil was asked more than 100 health-related questions about their school, home and social activities.
Despite the alarming amount that some children claimed to drink, the good news is that most children showed no interest whatsoever in drinking or getting drunk. In fact, compared with previous surveys, the number of children drinking more than 10 units a week is decreasing.
Simon Antrobus, chief executive of drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity ‘Addaction’, said:
“Children who drink at younger ages are the ones who need help most. We also know that children whose parents misuse alcohol are more likely to develop their own problems later in life.”
Aside from alcohol, almost half of all 14 to 15 year olds asked admitted to have tried cigarettes in the past and 5% of 10 to 11 year olds admitted to smoking- a small yet alarming statistic.
The Department of Health has in recent days doubled the maximum fine for under-age alcohol sales to £20,000 and increased the length of punishment served by those who sell alcohol to under 18s to 48hours.
If you suspect your child has a problem with drinking and you would like to address the problem, you may wish to consider some form of counselling. For more information, please feel free to take a look at our factsheets on child related issues or addictions.