Dramatic increase in the number of children drinking alcohol provided by parents | United Kingdom | New

NHS ‘worrying’ figures show home drinking among 11 to 15 year olds is on the rise, despite health risks including involvement in violence and an increased risk of suicide.

The statistics – included in the ‘Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Among Young People in England, 2021’ report – show that 13% of 11-year-olds said they had drunk alcohol at home with their parents.

In addition, 23% of 12-year-olds and a quarter – 25% – of 13-year-olds reported having drunk alcohol at some point.

The report focused on those classified as “current drinkers” – children who drink alcohol at least a few times a year. Eight percent of 11-year-olds were classified as “current drinkers.”

Almost two-thirds (60%) of 15-year-olds reported drinking. Overall, 16% of all ages surveyed (11-15) drank alcohol at least once a month.

Of those who drank at least once a month, 75% received alcohol from their parents.

Other common ways of obtaining alcohol were taking it home with permission (50%) or getting it from friends (46%).

When asked where they drank alcohol, the vast majority of children, 76%, said they drank at home. The figure was just 66% in 2018. Drinking at someone else’s house was the second most common at 42%.

Only 29% of children admitted to drinking at parties with friends.

This is a significant drop from 40% in 2018, before the Covid pandemic.

Current child drinkers were asked with whom they drink alcohol. Two-thirds (67%) said they drank with their parents while 52% said it was with friends.

In another worrying development, the number of children who reported drinking alone rose from 3% in 2018 to 6% in 2021. Nuno Albuquerque, chief treatment consultant at the UK Addiction Treatment Group, analyzed data published by the NHS last week. .

He said: “The increase in the number of children drinking alcohol at such a young age, at home, with their parents is really very worrying.

“Why are parents comfortable with their 11 and 12 year olds drinking alcohol?”

He added: “It all comes down to a deep misunderstanding of the detrimental effects of alcohol on a child’s mental and physical development.

“Alcohol is a toxin, and there is evidence that starting to drink before age 14 is linked to increased health risks, being involved in violence and even suicidal thoughts and attempts.

“It really is so serious.”

About Michael Brafford

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