Fewer young teens hospitalised with alcohol poisoning

Intensive efforts to curb teenage binge drinking may be paying off, with alcohol research institute Stap reporting the first decline in hospital admissions in years.

In 2012, 710 under-18s were admitted to hospital with alcohol poisoning, down 7% on 2011, Stap said on Friday. The average age was 15 and and boys outweigh girls 55:45. The youngest victim was 12.

Spokesman and doctor Nico van der Lely said the reduction is to be welcomed but that the number of cases of alcohol poisoning among youngsters remains ‘shockingly high’.

The government is planning to increase the legal drinking age from 16 to 18 next year, a move which Van der Lely said is an important step in limiting access to alcohol.

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