11-year-olds admitted to A&E for alcohol abuse: number is up by a third in a single year
Number is a 35 per cent increase on previous 12 months
Another 145 were treated for drug abuse
Expert says it is now ‘common’ for 20-year-old to die of liver disease
The number of children aged 11 and under being taken to A&E after drinking too much has soared by a third in the last year.
Across the UK, 293 youngsters were admitted to hospital after abusing alcohol – a rise of 35 per cent.
Another 145 in the same age group were taken to hospital for drug abuse – up by 14 per cent.
Doctors say that most hospitals have patients in their 20s dying of liver disease, having started drinking at 11 or 12.
The figures show that alcohol problems appear to be worsening in young children just as trends for older age groups appear to be stabilising.
Doctors are also worried about teenage girls who are leaving themselves vulnerable to assault by becoming so intoxicated.
According to an investigation by BBC Radio 5 Live’s Victoria Derbyshire Programme, there were 6,580 alcohol-related admissions for all youngsters aged 18 or under last year – which although very high has fallen from 7,821.
Dr Morten Draegebo, an A&E consultant, said: ‘We have had many cases where young teenage females have come in saying that they may have been sexually assaulted.
‘They’re that intoxicated and are distressed and say I may have been but they don’t even know if they have been or not.
‘On a humane level that is very distressing. I’m a parent, I would hate for that to happen to my daughter.’
Dr Draegebo. who works at Cross House Hospital in Kilmarnock, Scotland, added: ‘There is a problem with their ability to defend themselves.
‘The typical patient may be found in a field.
‘They often need to hide away from any sort of adults in the area so they’re picked up by the ambulance service.