A report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says that UK teenage girls are among the worst drunks in the world.
The international survey also found that girls of age 15 years are more likely to have been drunk than boys in the UK. Almost 50% of teen girls in the UK reported drunkenness, which is thrice the level reported in France.
"The difference in the UK is the high level of risk taking," says report co-author, Dominic Richardson, adding that teen pregnancy was also rife. "It shows that tackling child poverty is not a magic bullet. Children who are from well-off homes can still have problems," he explained.
Children's Minister Dawn Primarolo was disappointed with the figures, "Recent statistics have shown encouraging decreases in teenage conceptions during the first half of 2008, that fewer teenagers than ever before are choosing to drink alcohol and we know that drug use among young people is falling," she added.
However the survey of 24 OECD countries did find that youth in UK enjoy a "high quality of school life".