Research has found around a quarter of 13-year-olds in Wales had been drunk more than once, and more Welsh teenagers had been drinking alcohol once a week than those in England and Scotland.
According to a report on the harmful effects of alcohol by the Wales Centre for Health and the National Public Health Service for Wales (NPHS), 27% of boys and 26% of girls in Wales said they had been drunk at least twice, the most in all 40 nations surveyed.
This figure almost doubled to 54% of boys and 52% of girls by the age of 15.
The report, which compares teenagers’ drinking habits, warns that the results are based on the amount teenagers claim to drink which it says is a ‘concerning indicator of alcohol use in children of such a young age in Wales’.
The study, which was the first of its kind, looked at various sources on under age drinking, alcohol-related deaths, drinking during pregnancy, binge drinking and hospital admissions.
The figures show that in Wales 1,000 people a year die due to causes attributable to alcohol and it is recorded as a factor in the deaths of 4.3% men.