Twenty youngsters a day are being diagnosed with conditions such as alcohol poisoning and behavioural disorders due to excessive drinking, according to NHS figures out today.
The statistics obtained by BBC1’s Panorama programme also show that in Cheshire and Merseyside alone, more than 10 under-18s per week are admitted because of drink abuse.
In the last five years, the number of under-18s being admitted to hospital with alcohol-related conditions has risen from 6,288 in 2000/1 to 7,579 in 2004/5, according to the NHS Information Centre.
Ian Forster of North West Ambulance Service said there had been a noticeable rise in the number of underage drinkers picked up in Liverpool. He said: “It’s not unusual for a child to have drunk a litre of vodka.