Parents 'supply' teenagers booze in Cumbria

  • Published

Nearly half of young teenagers in Cumbria have had alcohol bought for them by their parents, it has emerged.

A recent survey conducted by the county council and the NHS also revealed 30% of year 10 pupils claimed to have drunk alcohol at home in the last week.

And 35% of Year 10s and 16% of year 8s said they had suffered a hangover.

The results were taken from this year's Cumbria's Health Related Behaviour Questionnaire carried out by Cumbria Healthy Schools team.

The results are preliminary, and the survey, which takes place every two years to record the views of pupils in years 8 (ages 12-13) and 10 (ages 14-15) at school, is due to close on 5 December.

Positive outcomes

It asks questions about young people's attitudes and experiences of drugs, tobacco and alcohol, as well as health, exercise, diet, emotional health and bullying, so changes over the years can be tracked.

Positive outcomes included the number of Year 10 children drinking over 21 units of alcohol a week had decreased to 5% of year 10 boys, compared to 12% in 2008.

Su Sear, a public health partnership specialist for NHS Cumbria said the results were "startling".

She said: "Alcohol can have a serious effect on the health of young people and their mental development.

"In some cases it can even lead to alcohol poisoning or death if a huge amount of alcohol is consumed at once, especially as young people may not be aware of the strength of what they are drinking.

"This is something we can only tackle once we know these opinions, and that's why the health related survey is so important."

The full results from Health Related Behaviour Questionnaire will be published in spring next year.

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