Swedish Teens Spend More Time Gaming, Less Time Doping

A team of Swedish researchers have conducted a study about drugs, alcohol and the effects of video games on teens. The research (unearthed by C&VG) concluded that boys who play games tend not to get involved in drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

The team of researchers from the Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs (CAN) surveyed 46,000 teens in the country, asking them about their drug and alcohol usage. Researchers discovered that the percentage of Swedish 15-year-olds who drink alcohol has dropped to the lowest level in decades.

The level of 15 and 16-year-old boys who have at least tried alcohol in the past year also declined to 55 percent – the lowest since CAN began investigating teen habits in 1971. A decade ago, that figure stood at 77 percent. Figures for smoking and drug-usage also showed a decline.

"We see similar developments in other Nordic countries, and also in the United States. It seems to be an international trend," CAN director Bjorn Hibell told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter recently.

Hibell said that drinking levels among boys was lower than girls. Around 59 percent of female respondents said they had consumed alcohol in 2011.

"Sitting by the computer playing games is perhaps more boy-oriented than girl-oriented," said Hibell. "That might be a contributing factor."

Sobriety group IOGT-NTO also saw the positive affects of gaming. Citing the research, the group suggested that playing games "encouraged a culture of alertness."

"When you play computer games, or rehearse with your rock band, it doesn’t work to be drunk," said IOGT-NTO head Anna Carlstedt. "This is incredibly positive."

Source: C&VG

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