Recent figures have revealed that a girl of six was taken to hospital last year, after drinking dangerous levels of alcohol. It is believed that the girl is the youngest child in the country to be admitted in this state.
It is not known how the child became to be so intoxicated with alcohol, when she was treated at Eastbourne District General Hospital some time last year.
The girl was just one of the 198 children aged under 17 who received treatment at hospitals in East Sussex for alcohol or drug abuse, over a five-year period.
These shocking figures have only just been released, after a Freedom of Information request, less than a month after officials from Brighton and Hove City Council found a nine-year-old boy was an alcoholic.
The nine-year-old boy only came to the attention of authorities because of the behaviour of his family who lived in Hove. The family were receiving, on average, 13 complaints a month for distruptive behaviour, bad language, criminal damage, vandalism and anti-social behaviour. It is believed that the child was consuming alcohol to cope with the chaos.
These cases are part of a worrying trend with around 36 children seen in hospital and casualty every day with alcohol-related illnesses.
It has also been announced that in the years 2008 and 2009 there was 13,000 alcohol-related admissions of young people under 18 were recorded. Moreover, 9,000 of these youths received treatment for dependency, which is double the rate from five years ago.
Don Shenker, Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern, has called for action against the ‘ludicrously cheap price of alcohol’ to try and control the problem. He added: ‘In terms of the six-year-old being admitted to hospital it should ring alarm bells to parents.’