YOUNG people in Dumbarton and the Vale still have an “unhealthy relationship” with alcohol despite a study claiming teenage drinking has dropped “dramatically”.

Youth workers said the news of a reduction in the past 10 years was welcome but said more education and intervention was needed.

A World Health Organisation study led by the University of St Andrews concluded the drop in drinking was second largest for girls and fourth largest for boys out of 36 European countries.

But they warned consumption was still dangerously high.

Gillian Kirkwood, manager of West Dunbartonshire youth charity Y Sort It, said: “It is welcomed news that there has been a reduction in the number of teenagers drinking over the past decade.

“However, we still need to be cautious as there is still a significant number of teenagers and young people who will experiment and develop an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, which is harmful both in the short and long term.

“We need to ensure we educate our young people in regards to the dangers of alcohol, with plenty of opportunities to provide early intervention and support for those who need it.”

The WHO report said weekly drinking amongst 15-year-olds in Scotland declined from 41 per cent to 11 per cent in girls and from 41 per cent cent to 14 per cent for boys. The study looked at the period between 2002 and 2014.

Dr Jo Inchley, lead editor from the University of St Andrews, said: “Change is possible. However, more should be done to ensure that adolescents are effectively protected from the harms caused by alcohol.”

The research said more than a quarter of girls and almost a third of boys in Scotland start drinking alcohol at the age of 13 or younger.