Shocking toll of young drinkers

Teenage Drinking
Teenage Drinking

CHILDREN as young as 11 are being treated at Scarborough Hospital for alcohol poisoning, shocking new figures show.

CHILDREN as young as 11 are being treated at Scarborough Hospital for alcohol poisoning, shocking new figures show.

In the 2010/11 year, 40 under-16s were treated at the hospital’s accident and emergency department after drinking.

Among those taken to hospital after abusing alcohol were:

- One 11-year-old

- Two 12-year-olds

- Five 13-year-olds

- Eleven 14-year-olds

- Twenty-one 15-year-olds.

The figures also show that several young people were treated by Scarborough NHS Trust after taking drugs.

Included among the figures were:

- Two 14-year-olds who took overdoses

- A 15-year-old who took a controlled substance

- A 15-year-old who took sedatives

- Six 14 to 15-year olds who were poisoned by proprietary drugs

- Twelve 13 to 15-year-olds who were poisoned after taking prescription drugs.

Carly Walker, strategy and commissioning manager at North Yorkshire County Council, said: “The county council commissions the Cambridge Centre in Scarborough to provide support to young people who are using drugs or alcohol.

“This includes one-to-one support and early intervention, family work and advice and information. Young people’s workers are in post to provide dedicated support to meet young people’s needs.

“Local organisations are aware of the issues that young people present with and work in a co-ordinated way to respond effectively.

“Training is being provided to staff to support them in delivering key messages to young people and to feel confident about supporting young people to resist pressure to take drugs or drink alcohol.”

Youth outreach workers patrol Scarborough’s streets on Friday nights and other busy times such as mischief night and bonfire night, Miss Walker added.

Arts, dance and music projects are also offered to youngsters on Friday nights, and young people in Eastfield have recently designed posters on alcohol awareness.

Schools in Scarborough have recently been given updated guidance on dealing with drug-related problems and briefing documents on ‘legal highs’ have been issued.

Funding has also been secured by The Cambridge Centre from Comic Relief for a young women’s alcohol worker who will be working closely with the accident and emergency department at Scarborough Hospital and with young people who have been admitted to hospital due to an alcohol related problem.

“The key message is that most young people do not use drugs or drink alcohol,” Miss Walker said. “But there is support available for young people if they do need help.”

The figures, obtained by the Evening News under the Freedom of Information Act, include young children who were admitted to hospital after accidentally being poisoned.

Five one-year-olds and five two-year-old were treated for accidental ingestion. In addition, a one-year-old was treated after taking anti-depressants and six children aged two and under were treated for poisoning brought on by prescription drugs.

Five children, ranging from a baby to a nine-year-old, were treated after ingesting poisonous plants.

Young people who want advice or information on drugs or alcohol should visit