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Bingeing 11-year-olds sitting on health timebomb, City Hall warned

PUBLISHED: 22:05 27 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:50 05 October 2010

EMERGENCY 999 calls dealing with binge drinkers as young as 11 are costing the NHS well over £1 million a year in London alone. That equals running two ambulances with paramedic teams on call 24-seven, the London Assembly’s health committee has been told

EMERGENCY 999 calls dealing with binge drinkers as young as 11 are costing the NHS well over £1 million a year in London alone.

That equals running two ambulances with paramedic teams on call 24-seven, the London Assembly's health committee has been told.

London's ambulance service spent £642,000 in the six months up to September dealing with alcohol-related incidents involving youngsters aged 11 to 21, often for minor injuries.

The youngsters are "sitting on a ticking health time-bomb" leading to serious health problems later in life, the health committee herd.

"Emergency services struggle to cope because binge drinking is on the increase," said committee chairman James Cleverly.

"Time spent dealing with minor incidents puts those in real life-threatening emergencies at risk.

"Youngsters who think they're invincible are setting themselves up for long-term health problems."

Shock figures earlier this week show 40 per cent more men and women in their mid to late 20s died through liver disease last year than the previous 12 months, according the Office for National Statistics. Liver failure is one of the top five killer diseases in Britain today.

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