The binge-drinking problem in the UK isn’t news—the British are well known to be heavy boozers. Over the course of the past year, there have been some alarming statistics reported regarding the rise of underage heavy drinking in the UK. Authorities like the Parliamentary Alcohol Misuse Group are more worried than ever.
The latest alcohol consumption statistics have shown an increase in alcohol-related deaths and more prescriptions for alcoholism among underage drinkers. A study released back in September by the Community Research Company found there has been a 12% steady increase in the amount of youngsters in Britain having a drinking-related problem over the past eight years. Moreover, almost one in three children live with at least one parent who is classified as a binge drinker.
According to the National Treatment Agency for Substance Abuse, in 2011 over 3,000 Britons as young as age 12 sought help to alleviate their drinking problem, with an average of six children per day being admitted to the hospital or other medical facilities due to heavy boozing. Interestingly, the number of girls ending up in the hospital due to binge drinking outnumbers boys by the thousands.
A new report released yesterday revealed the problem is only getting worse, especially in Northern England where under-18 boozers drink more than those in the south. Here are the scariest figures from the report:
- Children between the age of 11 and 17 are consuming 10 million pints of beer every week.
- In the past month alone, half a million children between ages 11 and 15 have been drunk.
- Death from liver disease in the UK has increased by 25% over the past 10 years, with drinking and obesity targeted as the main causes.
- Out of the one million people who are alcohol-dependent in the UK, about one in five are at risk for developing liver disease and 700,000 are likely to have significant damage already.
It doesn’t help that online retailers are helping fuel the problem of underage binge drinking in the UK. When retailers began to crackdown on underage purchasers of alcohol, kids turned to online retailers many of which are lax about ID checks—or perhaps don’t check them at all.
To be perfectly honest, it doesn’t seem like authorities are doing much about the problem aside from being ‘worried’ about the new statistics. Prime Minister David Cameron has faced opposition over his decision to reject a minimum price on alcohol, a move that some believe would help lessen the high number of underage alcohol consumers.
Here in the United States we think the underage drinking problem is severe—compared to the UK, it seems minor! Do you think the British government should step in and take action against this? What measures do you think would help this issue?
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