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Charity warns over child drinking

25th October 2010

A charity has warned that a rising number of children are drinking at dangerous levels.


Alcohol Concern says that the number of under-18s needing hospital treatment after drinking too much is increasing and costs the NHS as much as £19m a year.

The organisation’s report Right Time, Right Place said alcohol contributes to 5% of young people's deaths, 1.4% higher than in the adult population.

This country also has highest rates of teenage alcohol-related injuries in Europe with the numbers admitted to hospital in England where alcohol was a factor up from 10,976 in 2002/3 to 14,501 in 2007/8, though admissions did fall back to 12,832 in 2008/9.

Alcohol Concern chief executive Don Shenker said some of the youngsters are as young as 10.

“We are extremely concerned about the damage to children's health,” he said.

The document wants to see earlier identification of young people engaged in 'risky' drinking with better training of medical staff to spot the problems.

Costs of early intervention are seen as less than the costs of treating the health problems of long-term alcohol misuse by children and young people.

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of Alcohol Health Alliance UK, said: “We know that heavy drinking from an early age can diminish the life chances of the young person involved. It is important that parents realise they are role models - their behaviour in relation to alcohol has more impact than what they tell their children.”

The Department of Health said the report showed the devastating impact alcohol has on the lives young people.


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Article Information

Title: Charity warns over child drinking
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 16488
Date Added: 25th Oct 2010


BBC News
Health Service Journal

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