Shocking toll … under-age boozing has soared since Labour introduced 24-hour drinking in 2005

THE number of children being treated for booze problems nearly DOUBLED in three years, The Sun can reveal.
A staggering 8,799 under-18s – including some of PRIMARY school age – were treated for misusing alcohol in the 12 months to April last year.
This was a shocking 80.1 per cent rise on the year to April 2006, when just 4,886 received help.
And figures released to The Sun under the Freedom of Information Act show 67 kids aged just 11 or younger were treated for alcohol problems in 2008-09. More than half of those referred or treated during the year were either 16 or 17.
The regions with the biggest child booze problems were the North West, where 1,760 kids received help, and the South East, where 1,148 were treated.
Another 872 kids from London received help for alcohol problems.
The sharp rise has come since the introduction of 24-hour drinking in November 2005. The figures, released by the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse, show another 7,248 under-18s referred to them with drug problems also had trouble with drink.
Earlier this month, The Sun reported that three kids under 10 are being treated in hospital for drug abuse every day.
Source  22nd March 2010

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