The annual report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction reveals that 13% of British school children claimed to have tried cannabis before they were 13. Ireland and the Netherlands came second with 8% of children claiming to have tried cannabis before they were 13. The study also reports that the UK has the highest number of children below 15 undergoing drug treatment in the EU. The number of children undergoing drug treatment in the UK has grown from 797 in the year 2000 to 2251 in 2005.
The figures are alarming as the report states that licit or illicit substance abuse "at a very early age is recognised as a predictor of later drug dependence and other problems and as an indicator and crucial element of a difficult family and social situation for those concerned."
A full copy of the report can be found on the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction's website: http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/html.cfm/index407EN.html.