Underage drinking is a common problem in the UK, with many teenagers pressurised to try alcohol by their peers; young people are often afraid to say no because they have a strong desire to be liked or to fit in. They may feel that they will be made fun of or laughed at if they do not try alcohol with their friends. It can be tough to say no to a group, and many young people who try alcohol do not really want to. However, the pressure to drink can be enormous and, unfortunately, for some of these teenagers, dependence and addiction becomes a problem.
Nevertheless, it is important to point out that it is not purely peer pressure that causes teenagers to drink alcohol in the first place. Some teenagers are eager to try alcohol out of curiosity, or to experiment while others drink because they have grown up in homes where parents regularly drink heavily. They will assume that this is normal behaviour.
One of the biggest problems with teenage drinking is the amount of alcohol these young people drink. Many regularly drink more than the recommended daily limit, and a vast number end up in hospital because of alcohol-related injuries and illnesses.
In fact, a recent report from Sky News revealed that the number of young people attending A & E for suspected alcohol poisoning has increased, with the problem affecting more teenage girls than boys. Females aged between fifteen and nineteen are one-and-a-half times more likely to be admitted to hospital with alcohol poisoning than their male counterparts are.
In the six years from 2008-2014, the overall figure for alcohol poisoning attendances in English hospitals doubled from 72.7 per 100,000 to 148.8 per 100,000.
Teenage Drinking Problem
Among those in hospital for alcohol poisoning, young people between the age of fifteen and twenty-four had the highest rates. The figure for females between the age of fifteen and nineteen was 357.6 per 100,000 in 2013/2014 while the figure for males was 259.4 per 100,000.
Nonetheless, overall, men were more likely to be admitted to hospital for alcohol poisoning than women were. The report also revealed that those who lived in the most deprived areas were four times more likely to need help for alcohol poisoning.
The report only highlighted the number of admissions for alcohol poisoning, but the reality is that alcohol-related admissions are much higher when things such as heart disease, falls, and domestic abuse cases are taken into account. Report joint author Claire Currie said that alcohol was placing significant pressure on the NHS, and the Government needs to do more to tackle the problem. She said, Our research has uncovered a picture of rising and avoidable activity in hospitals, representing a stark challenge for the Health Service at a time when it’s already under great pressure. Hospitals alone cannot tackle this issue the Government must consider measures such as minimum unit pricing, restricting availability and limiting marketing and advertising.
Help for Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol is not just a problem for teenagers; many people around the UK are struggling every day with addictions to alcohol and are afraid to get help. A large number will be living in denial, and many will not seek help because they are afraid of what that means for them.
The good news is that there is help available for alcohol addiction, and the sooner an affected individual reaches out, the sooner he or she can begin to make a change in their life. Rehab Helper is here to provide information on the various treatments available for addiction and to provide advice and support to those who want to access these treatments.
If you are someone affected by alcohol issues but ready to make a positive change in your life, call Rehab Helper today.