The number of young teenagers drinking themselves into a coma and ending up in hospital has risen to 240 so far this year.
This is five times the number in 2000 when 30 children aged between 12 and 16 ended up in hospital.
The figures come from a survey carried out by tv programme Zembla which were broadcast on Sunday evening. The programme questioned 75 hospital pediatricians.
Binge drinking affects all social classes in the Netherlands, the programme said. Children who drink alcohol begin at an increasingly young age and are drinking increasing amounts. Zembla discovered that an alcoholic coma lasts an average of two hours. One child was unconscious for 16 hours.
American neurologist Scott Swartzwelder showed MRI scans during the programme which show lasting damage to the brains of children who binge drink just once. ‘Kids become more stupid and cannot express their emotions,’ he told Zembla.
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