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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Underage Alcohol Poisoning Increases In UK

19 Nov 2006

During the last five years the number of under-eighteens admitted to hospital for alcohol poisoning has gone up by 20%, according to a BBC Panorama programme, called "Booze: What Teenagers Need to Know".

Apparently, 20 children are diagnosed each day in the UK with alcohol poisoning. Hospital admissions went up from 6,288 in 2000 to 7,500 in 2005.

Panorama quoted an Ambulance operative saying that it is not uncommon to come across children who have downed a whole litre of vodka. Many in the National Health Service (NHS) say resources which should be used for treating other patients are being eaten up dealing with drunken children.

Opinion by Editor of Medical News Today

I moved from the UK to Cancun, Mexico, a couple of years ago. I fly to the UK about four times a year. It is disconcerting to see British town centres full of drunken teenagers on Friday and Saturday nights. From what I can see, very few older adults go into the centre of towns on those nights any more. Groups of young teenagers stagger along the pavement (sidewalk), some of them vomiting while the others look on as if nothing has happened. There are police everywhere, like playground supervisors.

It baffles me how underage children can get hold of alcoholic drinks so easily in the UK. Send 100 underage people to liquor stores in the USA, and another 100 to off-licences in the UK, and count how many managed to get hold of booze. I am sure very few will succeed in America, while many will get what they wanted in the UK. When my 19-year-old son was 16 we lived in the UK, he never had any trouble getting alcoholic drinks in pubs, discos and off-licences. He is at university in Cancun, and tells me his college friends here consume a tiny fraction of alcohol, when compared to his 16-year-old friends in England.

(USA - Liquor store. UK - Off licence).

BBC Panorama - More teen drinkers in hospital

Written by: Christian Nordqvist
Editor: Medical News Today
Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/healthnews.php?newsid=57082

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