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Juveniles drinking more

SEVERAL Slovak teenagers die annually due to alcohol poisoning, according to the head of the Centre for Therapy for Drug Dependencies, Ľubomír Okruhlica.

The Easter holiday and New Year's Eve are two periods when alcohol consumption particularly increases among juveniles, according to experts.

Drinking is especially on the rise among girls. In a 1998 survey of 15- and 16-year olds, 26 percent of boys and 18 percent of girls admitted to having gotten drunk at least once in their life, compared with 35 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls in 2002, the TASR news agency wrote.

Okruhlica attributes in-creased drinking among teens to disregard for legislation governing the sale of alcohol to minors, social tolerance and advertising that associates eating with drinking alcohol.

According to statistics, only one in 20 Slovaks do not drink alcohol. Among Europeans, one in 10 men and one in five women abstains, while in North America, one in four men and every other woman does not drink.

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