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Binge-drinking youths hospital figures shock

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 21, 2014

Burton's Queen's Hospital

Burton's Queen's Hospital

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MORE than 100 children were taken to Burton’s Queen’s Hospital over the past six years after consuming too much alcohol, the Mail can reveal.

Chiefs in Burton said the information, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, showed the extent of Burton’s binge-drinking culture among youths.

More than 80 of those who were admitted to hospital were between the ages of 15 and 17, but the figures also showed that in each of the last six years, children under the age of 11 needed treatment for alcohol-related reasons.

The data suggests it is not an issue which is improving over time, with the 16 youths between 15 and 17 years old admitted in the year to March 2014 the highest for four years.

At least one girl under the age of 11 was also admitted last year.

The number of boys and girls taken to hospital was fairly even, the data showed.

Burton councillor and deputy mayor of East Staffordshire Bill Ganley, who also runs two pubs in Burton, said he believes drinking ‘copious amounts’ of alcohol was now routine for many teenagers and claimed part of the blame lies with unscrupulous shopkeepers who are willing to hand over alcohol to underage customers.

Mr Ganley, landlord at the Old Cottage Tavern, in Byrkley Street, and The Grange, in Casey Lane, said: “I definitely think it’s an issue and something that is becoming more of a problem with more people.

“The attitudes from young people towards alcohol have changed since I was growing up.

“They should be in the pub with their family, having a drink responsibly.

“I find it is becoming more of a problem for young women, who think it is more acceptable to drink copious amounts of alcohol.

“I don’t see many young people coming into pubs anymore. There are shops where young people are going in and are not getting asked for ID.

“I believe there should be more done in schools about responsible drinking.”

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