Thursday 09 December 2021

Fewer Dutch teenagers hospitalised with alcohol poisoning

Fewer teenagers were taken to hospital last year after drinking too much alcohol, according to new figures out on Thursday.

In 2016, 791 teenagers were hospitalised with alcohol poisoning, a drop of 15% on 2015.

The figures come from a special centre set up to combat teenage drinking. However, not all hospitals have participated in the research this year, which could mean the figures are inaccurate, broadcaster RTL said.

Nevertheless, doctor Nico van der Lely, who started the campaign against teen drunks, says the figures do show that the rising trend may now have been halted.

The youngest person take to hospital after drinking to excess was just nine years old, but the average age was 15.5. Nearly half had been drinking at a friend’s house and one in four got drunk in the street.

Unconscious

Slightly more boys than girls were taken to hospital and on average they remained unconscious for three hours, RTL said. Spirits were to blame for 60% of alcohol overdoses.

The figures also show that parents are getting tougher about teenage drinking. Of the 791 children taken to hospital, 56% said their parents did not allow them to drink at all.

‘This is a trend that began in 2012,’ Van der Lely said. ‘Parents are increasingly aware of the risks of using alcohol, such as the impact on brain development.’

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