Advice given to youngsters over alcohol

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Youngsters are being warned about the damage to their health that alcohol can cause.

As part of Alcohol Awareness Week (November 17 to 23), North Tyneside Council’s public health team will be working with partners to talk to young people.

Figures show the number of youngsters being admitted to hospital is reducing – dropping from 167 over 2005-9 to 93 during 2010-13.

Work to prevent young people from misusing alcohol includes alcohol awareness sessions in schools and regular consultation.

Marietta Evans, director of public health for North Tyneside, said: “Evidence has shown that when young people drink alcohol, they are more susceptible to accidents and risky sexual activity; as well as being more likely to be a victim of theft or violence.

“While young people under the age of 18 should ideally not be drinking alcohol at all, we recognise that this does happen and are working with our partners to make sure young people are given the advice they need about alcohol.”

Parents are being encouraged to use Alcohol Awareness Week as a talking point to discuss with their children the risks associated with drinking alcohol.

Excessive drinking over a short period of time risks potentially fatal alcohol poisoning, when the alcohol starts to interfere with the body’s automatic functions such as breathing, heart rate and the gag reflex which prevents choking.

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include confusion, vomiting, fits, slow breathing pale or bluish skin, cold and clammy skin and unconsciousness.

For more advice and support around dealing with young people’s alcohol issues, contact the Never Too Late Project (N2L) in North Shields on (0191) 643 8802.