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alcohol health alliance uk

Right time, right place Balance responds to South Tyneside findings

Posted 21/10/10

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “To put these findings into context, it’s important to remember that the proportion of 11 to 15-year-olds who have never drunk alcohol is increasing. In the North East, the number of under 18 alcohol specific hospital admissions has fallen by 17% over the last year and by 7% in South Tyneside alone.

“However, we know that those young people who are drinking alcohol are drinking large amounts. If we are to successfully tackle alcohol use by children and young people, we require the introduction of a package of measures.”

He explained that these measures would include:

There is also a need to challenge society’s attitudes and behaviours around children and young people’s alcohol use. This week, Balance launched an advertising campaign which shows that the majority of north easterners think it’s unacceptable for parents to buy alcohol for their children or drink too much in front of them.

“Parents are the biggest influence on their children’s lives - young people are 12 times less likely to drink alcohol if their parents set clear boundaries. We all need to be exerting that influence carefully,” Colin added.

Government research suggests that parents should address the issue of alcohol with their children as early as the age of eight and the former chief medical officer advised that children should experience an alcohol free childhood up to at least the age of 15, as the brain is still developing.