The High Cost of Teenage ‘Binge’ Drinking

The Facts Speak For Themselves

A shocking report out yesterday from the health campaign group Balance has finally put into perspective the results of UK teenagers ‘binge’ drinking. The high consumption level of alcohol among today’s teenagers reached the point long ago where it became a national disgrace, but now, after research by this group, the the real dangers are becoming clear.

 

Cirrhosis Patient

The medical profession has become increasingly worried by a 400% increase in alcohol related liver disease over the last eight years. This figure compares with a 61% rise nationally, and is related to persons between 30 and 34. In  2002, 89 cases were reported in North-Eastern England alone, but this has now risen to 189 last year. Balance highlighted the fact that many cases are among young people in the age group 20 to 25, and some are as young as 11. Quite rightly, doctors describe the results as an epidemic.

Balance Director Colin Shevills said; “It is particularly concerning, as here in the North East we have the highest rate of 11-15-year-olds who drink in England and the highest rate of under 18s admitted to hospital because of alcohol.”

Life's Great! - To Hell With Tomorrow

I still remember what it is to be young and brash, and to feel that it will never happen to you, but the drinking habits of Britain’s’ teens has gone way beyond the reasonable. As a teenager you think only of the moment and don’t even worry about the hangover you will have in the morning, but many are now finding out there is a price to pay, and it will affect the rest of their lives. For a young life, with hopefully a long a fruitful future ahead, the news that you have an incurable liver disease will be devastating.

Typical Saturday Night

To try and reason with teenagers on such a subject is useless, for they naturally enough I suppose, feel as if they are invincible, something we have all felt I guess. Many 20 to 30 year-olds are now being diagnosed with terminal liver disease, and at such a young age that is tragic, but there always come a time when you must ‘pay the piper’.

Alcohol Related Deaths Rising

One particular case quoted in the report is of a 41 year-old ‘party animal’ who drank 3 bottles of wine plus lager a day, and now suffers from cirrhosis of the liver and will be taking close to 100 pills a week for as long as she lives.  The pills will not cure her sickness, but only keep it in check, hopefully. She also spent almost half of the last two years in hospital and her liver could fail at any time. Cirrhosis sufferers have a very poor quality of life, and never know when their liver will fail completely, which of course leads to death.

Three For the Price of Two?

According to many experts, the problem has developed because of the availability of cheap alcohol in supermarkets and other places, and of course non-adherence to the laws forbidding the sale of alcohol to persons under age. Part of it is also the lack of future prospects felt by much of today’s youth, trapped as they are, jobless because of poor education standards due to the failure of the education system in Great Britain. Parents must also share a major portion of the blame for not exercising proper parental control. Something that seems to be out of fashion these days.  

Top of the League

In many British towns and cities the Saturday night picture is always the same, teenagers vomiting and urinating in the street, and the park benches and pavements littered with comatose drunks. Of course there is also the question of young girls getting ‘wasted’ on a Saturday night and finding out shortly after that they are pregnant. Britain has the highest rate of unmarried teenage mothers in Europe. Let us also not forget the violence that often accompanies ‘binge’ drinking.

The Body Can Only Take So Much Abuse

It’s a sad snapshot of life in today’s Britain and the likelihood of the pattern changing in the near future is bleak. Only a tiny few will perhaps read the report in the newspapers, and those that do will ignore it as being something that will never affect them. Well, let’s face it, liver disease is something old people get. Right!

Roy.

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