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  Are kids' lives full of drink and crime?
Updated 10 April 2002, 14.49

According to a new bit of research, more and more of you are drinking alcohol underage and committing crimes.

Do we have a nation of young, drunk thugs and if so, what can we do to change it?

Is civilisation really on the brink of collapse, or are adults just overreacting?

We are no longer taking e-mails on this topic. Please scroll down to read what you had to say...

opening quoteGetting 'wasted' every week is stupid, but having a drink when you're out with friends or at a party is fine. In 'Western' culture, alcohol is a social device, which is what teenagers mainly use it for. The legal limit for alcohol should be lowered to 16, by that age you should be mature enough to drink responsibly and not be stupid.closing quote
Sean, 16, Belfast

opening quoteYoung people know the risks but give in to drink for individual reasons; some are bored, for others it's peer pressure, others want to rebel-to get attention. The same goes for drugs and crime commiting.closing quote
Sally, 14, Deeping

opening quoteTeenagers are going to do what they want to do. I don't drink but I know many people who do. Most people I know do it when they're with a group of friends and they can't find anything better to do. There should be safe, fun places where youth can hang out all night.closing quote
Rashida, 17, San Francisco

opening quoteI think you're all stupid. I've been so drunk that I've been sick everywhere! Yet I keep on doing it because it's FUN!closing quote
anonymous, 13, Doncaster

opening quoteI have grown up with a loving family and a solid background. I do not live in a rough area and I go to a good school. Yet all around me there are drugs and alcohol on offer. No matter where you come from or who you are, these things are available to you. Everyone has the same decision to make. It's up to the person and their will to say no. No one else can take responsibility. It doesn't make saying no to alcohol, when films and music tell us that drinking is good. Adults should stop lecturing and judging us, and try to support us and help us through these difficult situations.closing quote
Kat, 13, Horsham

opening quoteI'm outraged at the comments in this post. This situation has nothing to do with parents or anything like that!. It's to do with there being nothing for kids to do! So they make their own fun. We don't need youth clubs, we need cinemas, swimming pools, bowling alleys etc..., I know from experience, for I have done all of the above.closing quote
Luke, 15, Hertfordshire

opening quoteYoung people are commiting crime more and I think that tougher penalties and sentences should be put in place. Most people who steal are teenage boys and I've had my fair share of it and I think that we do not keep them locked up for longer. closing quote
David, 15, Altrincham

opening quoteI think that kids are to blame, especially when large groups hang around, causing trouble just to look big and pick on other younger teenagers!closing quote
Becky, 15, Sale

opening quoteI've never been drunk, but me and my friends drink a bit at parties. None of us think that getting wasted on a Saturday night is a great way to spend our time, nor do we go around beating people up or injecting heroin. I wish these sorts of surveys would stop giving such a negative opinion of teenagers today. They just make the minority look like the majority.closing quote
Ceri, 15, Brighton

opening quoteI think us teenagers think that it is more acceptable to drink now as drinks are often slyly marketed to a younger target age than they should be. Also with peer pressure it's so easy to do what all your mates are doing.closing quote
Clare, 15, Stroud

opening quoteI know people who have had a small amount to drink and decided it's not worth it and they have not drunk alcohol since. But it's not fair that a few kids give all of us a bad name, loads of adults commit awful crimes as well.closing quote
Sally, 14, Lancashire

opening quoteI'm fed up with kids always getting a bad name. Some trouble is just part of growing up - it doesn't mean we all end up as criminals.closing quote
Mandy, 12, Coventry

opening quoteAt my school we had an awareness day, we were told drinking a very small amount occasionally is better than getting the shock of your life when you're 18 and becoming drunk.closing quote
Laura, 12, West Sussex

opening quoteI've never got drunk or taken drugs or anything like that. Kids are always made out to be the bad guys. It's the adults who are to blame. They show off in front of kids by drinking and pretending to be hard, so kids copy the adults.closing quote
Shelly, 13, London

opening quoteKids shouldn't be allowed to drink because it can lead to problems in later life. You may be able to handle your drink now but as you get older it can lead to health problems. As far as I'm concerned, you shouldn't get involved in the first place. Having a drink now and again is ok, but becoming an alcoholic very young causes major problems when you're older. Most kids drink just to look cool.closing quote
Saffron, 13, Doncaster

opening quoteIt's the parents' fault if their children start to drink because the parents are supposed to set a good example for their children to follow.closing quote
Sara, 11, Barking

opening quoteNot all young people drink, smoke and take drugs. In fact I know many who help the community.closing quote
Julie, 13, Manchester

opening quoteMe and my friends would never even dream about going near drink or drugs.closing quote
Anna, 12, Haddenham

opening quoteWhy are drugs illegal? They kill you. Why are guns illegal? They kill you. Alcohol can kill you, it takes longer but it has much the same effect as drugs and it ruins your life.closing quote
Abi, 11, Edinburgh

opening quoteThere's nothing wrong with drinking, adults do it and so do me and all my friends. Kids are a lot less violent than adults as well. At least this way we can learn to hold our drink and take care of ourselves in a fight.closing quote
Torrance, 14, Dorset

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