Children aged 12 being treated for drink problems in London
- 06 Sep
Scores of London children are being treated for alcohol abuse. Shocking figures reveal that more than 65 children aged 12 or 13 and 353 aged 14 or 15 are receiving specialist help for drink problems.
It was revealed this year that drink-related hospital admissions are costing the NHS in London an estimated £264 million a year - or £34 for every resident.
The new figures - released in a parliamentary written answer - reveal that the borough of Barking and Dagenham has the largest number of young people accessing alcohol abuse services.
The borough has 15 children aged 12 or 13, 41 children aged 14 or 15 and 48 aged 16 or 17 receiving help for drink problems.
Across the capital more than 413 children aged 16 or 17 are being treated for drink problems.
Conservative MP Tracey Crouch said: "It is incredibly sad that there are a large number of youngsters across London who are getting treatment for alcohol dependency.
"It is very important to recognise that quite often there are other issues involved.
"We need to try to prevent youngsters having access to alcohol."
The Chatham and Aylesford MP added: "There is a difference between youngsters aged 16 or 17 experimenting and people as young as 12 with substance misuse problems. That is a serious issue."
A survey of drinking habits this year showed that half of Londoners are worried that alcohol is damaging their health.
The findings were based on a poll of 7,500 people, the largest of its kind carried out in the capital.
It showed that Londoners spend £8.69 per week on alcohol on average, but there is huge variation between boroughs. In Camden, the spend is £16.27 compared with £4.21 in Newham.
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