NEARLY 80 children have been admitted to A&E due to alcohol consumption in the last three years, the Leader can reveal.
There were 20 youngsters under the age of 16 admitted in 2010-11, 32 in 2011-12 and 24 admitted so far in 2012-13.
The figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, also reveal there has been a spike in alcohol-related admissions in the 45-54 age group, jumping from 66 three years ago to 115 so far in 2012-13.
In 2010-11 and 2011-12 the age-group with the highest alcohol-related admissions to A&E was 16-24, at 101 and 110 respectively. The latest figures stand at 89.
Speciality registrar Ashley Gould, speaking for Public Health Wales, said the reasons for alcohol abuse were “multi-faceted”.
“Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) is working in partnership with the local authorities including education and the youth service, and with Public Health Wales to tackle the concerns regarding harmful alcohol consumption.
“The school nursing team has been skilled up to provide a brief intervention, support and advice to young people to change behaviour, and are actively supporting many young people.
“Midwives and health visitors are also focusing on changing pregnant mothers’ knowledge and behaviour during the antenatal period to reduce the harmful effects on the unborn baby and on the mothers’ health.”
He added: “Over the past nine months Public Health Wales has trained more than 350 health care workers, youth workers, police and police community support officers across North Wales in Alcohol Brief Intervention (ABI), to seize upon ‘teachable moments’ they may have with members of the public, to change harmful alcohol consumption behaviour.
“More sessions are scheduled in Wrexham for early April.”
He said there were also alcohol awareness programmes in schools, youth centres, colleges and universities, and peer education programmes currently running.
A spokesman for Wrexham Council said a two-week ‘Health Challenge Wrexham’ radio campaign went to air in February with information, support and advice on alcohol consumption.
The Health Challenge Wrexham website (www.healthchallengewrexham.co.uk) provides information and health guidelines on drinking, plus support and advice.