In shocking figures that have come to light, around 4,441 children between 12 and 15 years old were admitted at A&E departments across Britain for binge drinking.
Dr Keith Brent, a pediatrician, told the British Medical Association's annual conference that he sees young kids brought to his clinic in a drunk state by the police or ambulance service every weekend. Such cases were non-existent a decade ago. He added that cheap cider, vodka or alcopops were the main drinks enjoyed by kids although they generally drank as much alcohol as they could afford.
Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb who received these figures in a Parliamentary answer expressed deep concern. "This is shocking new evidence of the scale of the alcohol crisis facing this country," Mr Lamb was quoted by the Daily Telegraph as saying. "Without a radical change to our drinking culture many young people will be condemned to serious long-term alcohol related illnesses."
The British Medical Association also passed a motion at its Liverpool conference saying that all alcohol-related advertising must be banned and that a minimum price per unit of alcohol must be adopted so as to increase the cost and reduce affordability.