Alcohol addiction in children as young as seven now in the UK

Alcohol addiction in children as young as seven now in the UK

In the UK, 380 children aged 10 or under were treated for intoxication over the last four years.

This is one of the worst stories I have blogged on all year.  Tragically this will just be the tip of the iceberg as many parents would never report this and just let the kids sleep it off.

Just another sign that our relationship with alcohol has gone from ‘a moderate drink or two on a Saturday night with friends during a special occasion’ to ‘daily consumption is normal, binge-drinking is acceptable, all social events need alcohol, being drunk is cool, and it is being purchased weekly with the groceries…’

Alcohol is completely out of control in western countries now all around the world.

The Sobering Reality Check from a Freedom of Information request to 99 English NHS hospital trusts:

  • Hundreds of children aged 7-10 are hospitalized suffering from mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol use
  • The Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust reported an intoxicated seven-year-old boy who was “addicted” to alcohol
  • A 10-year-old boy was admitted to a Devon hospital after drinking so much he collapsed
  • A baby was hospitalised in Gloucestershire after sustaining a head injury while intoxicated
  • Hundreds more children were rushed to A&E because they were drunk
  • These figures are low and will be much higher as over 30% of NHS trusts (an additional 67), did not supply information

“Children who grow up in homes where their parents have alcohol and drug problems are seven times more likely to develop substance misuse problems themselves.  A recent study indicated that 22% of children live with a parent who drinks hazardously.  A particularly worrying finding was the lack of awareness among parents about the effects of their drinking on their children.  These children are at risk in a variety of ways, from disruption of family life, social isolation and a threat to safety as a result of parents’ alcohol related behaviour, to the accessibility of alcohol. Often they assume the parental role”
Nick Barton, chief executive of the charity Action on Addiction, April 2013.

This Freedom of Information request to all of England’s 166 NHS hospital trusts revealed a total of 380 children aged 10 or under were treated for alcohol intoxication between 2008 and 2012.  As reported by The Daily Mail on 2 April 2013.

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Posted: Tuesday 9 April 2013