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Thursday 2 February 2012

Young People drinking levels

Cheshire's Assistant Chief Constable Ruth Purdie calls for action concerning young people's drinking levels

Recently, police officers in Cheshire have been called to deal with cases where young people have drunk so much alcohol that they have put their lives at risk.

Day after day, Cheshire officers are responding to incidents involving underage drinking where young children have been abusing alcohol to the extent that they have putt their lives in danger.

Cheshire Police are issuing a warning to parents, teachers and other adults who have a responsibility to educate young people about the harm alcohol can cause.

Assistant Chief Constable Ruth Purdie commented

"My officers are facing situations where they are dealing with young people who have passed out on the streets. Officers deliver messages to parents that their child′s life is hanging in by a thread because of alcohol poisoning and it is just not acceptable.

"I am challenging everyone who cares about or has a responsibility for a young person, if you are a parent, older brother or sister, a teacher, youth worker, doctor, social worker or just someone else involved with young people I want you to consider this question - what have you done today to protect the children you know from the harm alcohol can cause if misused.

"I want you to consider this - would you willingly provide money or allow the young people in your care or their friends to buy drugs and take enough of them to poison their body and put their life in danger?

"You might think this is a ridiculous question to put to you, but alcohol acts like a drug in young peoples bodies because they are not developed enough to cope with the side effects.

"Research shows that young people often drink with the consent of those people closest to them, their parents, sisters, brothers or older friends and the alcohol is brought for them knowing they are underage.

"Drinking alcohol causes anxiety, slowed breathing and heartbeat, loss of consciousness, young people can suffocate on their own vomit, it leaves them vulnerable and clouds their ability to think putting them at risk of becoming a victim of crime and potentially, alcohol like drugs, can have fatal consequences.

"If you are a parent remember that your own drinking habits will have an influence on your children. Young people might not want to drink but may feel peer pressure from their friends or family, make sure if you are a parent that your children are aware of the risks and implications of underage drinking.

"Research has shown that the most common place for alcohol to be accessed is the home, parents have a responsibility to make sure their children can′t get hold of it. Young people are more likely to drink alcohol if they perceive it to be fun, it′s important for parents and teachers to educate their children on the negative associations what alcohol does to the body, the fact that adolescents bodies can not process large amounts of alcohol and it can lead to problems in latter life as damage can not be reversed.

"We need to act now to ensure today′s young generation understand the harm they are doing to themselves. Education is key to the harm alcohol does to young people, research shows that here in the North West in particular, we have a real problem with alcohol related harm.

"I do not want my officers turning up at a school or someone′s home delivering the message that a young person has died because of the amount of alcohol they have drunk. Lets act now and act together with one voice."

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