More kids in hospital with alcohol problems—but fewer on drugs

MORE teenagers and children as young as 11 are being admitted to hospitals in London for alcohol-related illnesses than ever before, shock figures reveal. Admissions ncreased from just under 1,200 seven years ago to nearly 1,800 two years ago

By Mike Brooke

MORE teenagers and children as young as 11 are being admitted to hospitals in London for alcohol-related illnesses than ever before, shock figures reveal.

Admissions for youngsters aged 11 to 18 increased from just under 1,200 seven years ago to nearly 1,800 two years ago, research shows.

But the statistics also indicate fewer youngsters in London using drugs, particularly cocaine. Drug use and alcohol consumption are both lower in London than the rest of Britain.

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The report by the Greater London Alcohol & Drug Alliance compiled with data from health services and the criminal justice system, has been welcomed by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

“Fewer youngsters are using drugs,” he said. “But we can’t be complacent.

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“Substance abuse still causes widespread problems across London.

“The rise in arrests for drug offences, however, shows we are beginning to tackle this problem. Possessing drugs won’t be tolerated.”

DRUG USE FALLEN

The proportion of youngsters between 16 and 24 who admit to using drugs in the last year fell significantly between 2005-06 and 2007-08, a drop from 20 per cent to just under 18 per cent.

The ratio of youngsters who admitted using cocaine powder was down from seven per cent to four-and-a-half per cent in that period.

The estimated numbers of problem’ cocaine users, where drug use has taken over their lives, dropped from 14,000 five years ago to 11,750 two years ago.

London has done better than the rest of the country which had a 39 per cent increase of drugs among youngsters.

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