Big rise in number of children in A&E due to booze and drugs

More and more young people are being admitted to hospital in drug and alcohol-related emergencies
More and more young people are being admitted to hospital in drug and alcohol-related emergencies

Almost double the number of children were admitted to Kettering General Hospital last year for drink and drug related emergencies, compared with four years ago.

The figures, obtained using the Freedom of Information Act, show that dozens of children aged under 11 received treatment for taking drugs and drinking alcohol.

And the statistics also show that girls were two or three times more likely to be admitted, depending on their age.

The hospital said 95 young people aged 17 and under were admitted to Kettering General Hospital for drug and alcohol-related conditions in 2008-09. By 2012-13 this number had climbed to 188.

Of those, 19 girls and boys aged under 11 were admitted in 2008-09, but by 2012-13 this figure had gone up to 56.

In a report aimed at combatting the harmful effects of drug and alcohol abuse, Northamptonshire’s Drug and Alcohol Action Team said: “Nearly all children and young people will experiment with alcohol at some time during their passage to adulthood and we need to provide them with the appropriate advice and guidance.

“Unfortunately, about one in three young people will begin to regularly drink above the recommended levels once they have left school.

“We have to enable parents to carry out their responsibility to educate their children in relation to responsible behaviour around alcohol.”

The hospital said it was unable to break down the figures of children receiving treatment for taking drugs as examining each individual record would be too costly.

Speaking earlier this year, former Kettering General Hospital chief executive Lorene Read said: “Alcohol does have a significant impact on hospitals, mainly through patients with conditions related to long-term high consumption levels and, in a smaller way, due to accidents related to over-indulging.”

The vast majority of patients were discharged from hospital on the same day but a small number were kept for overnight treatment.