Drink and drug fear for young

Wigan Infirmary
Wigan Infirmary

CHILDREN as young as one are being treated at hospital after becoming high on drink and drugs.

Between April 2011 and March 2012, 280 children were seen by medics at Wigan Infirmary for the affects of excess alcohol or being under the influence of drugs.

The shocking figures, which were released following a Freedom of Information request, revealed that nine children under the age of one were treated for the affects of poisonous diuretics (drugs that force the body to lose water) and one child under the age of one for the affects of painkillers.

The figures also revealed that 90 children between the ages of 10 and 17 were treated for alcohol intoxication and a 16 year old was treated for the affects of a psychotropic substance.

The figures also revealed:

108 children between 0-17 were treated for the affects of diuretics;

79 children between 0-17 were treated for the overuse of painkillers;

In March 2011, the Evening Post revealed that 106 children were treated for the affects of alcohol in 2010/11.

Dr Kate Ardern, Director of Public Health in Wigan Borough, said: “Young people and alcohol don’t mix. Alcohol in young hands can lead to long term health risks and in the short term leave young people exposed to personal danger and physical injury whilst communities are affected by incidents of anti-social behaviour. To reduce alcohol-related hospital admissions amongst young people you have to prevent young people getting hold of alcohol in the first place.

“Agencies across Wigan Borough are committed to reducing alcohol-related harm by making it more difficult for young people to get hold of alcohol, and of raising awareness from a young age about the potential consequences of alcohol misuse.

“This commitment is demonstrated in a range of ways: prevention, education, early intervention and prosecution.”

Both council services, police and health authorities have been working in partnership to try and get the message across to youngsters about the dangers of alcohol.

Who’s Got The Bottle? was a partnership project which commissioned year nine school age groups to devise five 10-minute plays highlighting the pitfalls of under-age alcohol sales including anti-social behaviour and unwanted pregnancies.