Girls of 11 drinking too much27th April 2007
A report by the charity Alcohol Concern has shown young girls are drinking double the amount of alcohol they were seven years ago.
The charity's report on the government's Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy shows an 83% rise in the amount of alcohol consumed by girls aged 11 to 13 since 2000.
The study, published by the Information Centre (IC), showed girls who drank consumed an average of eight units a week. Male drinkers showed a 43% rise in the same time frame, consuming an average of 12 units a week.
The charity has said parents who give alcohol to children under the age of 15 should be prosecuted and called for a 16% rise on alcohol taxes. Present legislation means it is illegal to give alcohol to children under the age of five, except in emergency cases under medical supervision.
The report concluded: "These are startling results for a strategy which
aimed to raise awareness about alcohol misuse among young people."
"The lack of targets or focus within the strategy to reduce young people's drinking has resulted in continued increases in consumption among 11 to 15-year-olds and ongoing issues with teenage pregnancies."
Frank Soodeen, of Alcohol Concern, warned: "We are sleepwalking into a public health crisis."
A spokeswoman from the IC - a special authority providing information to the NHS - commented: "It would be too early to say whether this most recent data was a blip or a genuine increase in drinking among this age group."
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Title: Girls of 11 drinking too much
Author: Martine Hamilton
Article Id: 2682
Date Added: 27th Apr 2007