More girls treated for alcohol problems

ALCOHOL-related hospital admissions of school-age girls in East Anglia have soared by more than 15 per cent in the past five years, shock figures reveal.

ALCOHOL-related hospital admissions of school-age girls in East Anglia have soared by more than 15 per cent in the past five years, shock figures reveal.

Almost 500 youngsters under the age of 18 were admitted to A&E suffering with the effects of alcohol in the region last year - 275 of which were young girls.

The number of girls taken to hospital has risen 15.1pc since 2001/02, compared to 1.4pc for boys.

The figures, disclosed by ministers following a Parliamentary question, also show that almost 3,000 youngsters under the age of 18 in East Anglia have been admitted to hospital with problems caused by drink since 2001/02.


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Alcohol campaigners in Suffolk last night blamed Britain's binge-drinking culture on the rise.

Chip Somers, project manager for drug and alcohol charity Focus12, based in Bury St Edmunds, said: “The figures come as no surprise at all. They entirely reflect exactly what we are seeing.

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“Young people, females in particular, are drinking much more than they used to some years ago.

“What's significant is the average age of people presenting with alcohol problems has become 10 years younger in the past five years. It's becoming much more common for them to present in their early 20s whereas five or 10 years ago that hardly ever happened.”

Earlier this month police in Suffolk seized 350 bottles of alcohol following a crackdown on disorder fuelled by underage drinking.

As part of the national Confiscation of Alcohol Campaign, officers stepped up patrols between February 8 and 24 in areas blighted by booze-related anti-social behaviour and used “litmus-style” tests to detect alcohol consumption. In one case a cherryade bottle which was found to contain alcohol.

Inspector Matt Dee, who oversaw the campaign in the east and south of the county, said Ipswich did not appear to have a significant problem of youngsters drinking on the streets.

“We had both a combination of plain-clothed and uniformed officers going to locations where we know groups of youths congregate. By and large, most of our visits were negative,” he said.

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