Three-year-old alcoholic treated for addiction

A three-year-old Briton who was treated in hospital for addiction to alcohol is thought to be the country's youngest ever alcoholic, health officials say.

The youngster was one of 13 people under the age of 12 who were diagnosed as alcoholics by the state-run National Health Service (NHS) in central England between 2008 and 2010.

Health officials declined to give details of the three-year-old's condition or disclose the toddler's identity due to patient confidentiality rules.

"We treat alcohol abuse very seriously, and have specialist teams and experts on hand who are there to treat young patients with alcohol-related problems," says a NHS spokeswoman.

The news is revealed by the NHS after a request under Freedom of Information laws, highlights Britain's uphill struggle to curb its heavy-drinking culture.

It came on the same day that leading health groups blasted a government initiative on alcohol which involves asking drinks firms to sign up to pledges to cut binge and underage drinking.

The groups, including the British Medical Association and the charity Alcohol Concern, accused the health ministry of letting the drinks industry dictate policy and condemned the pledges as neither specific nor measurable.

(Sapa, March 2011)

Read more:

Drinking alcohol

Parenting

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
29% - 9758 votes
No
71% - 24082 votes
Vote