Teen health ‘timebomb’ of drugs, drink and sex

A generation of teenagers is suffering from damage caused by binge-drinking, drug abuse and underage sex, the Conservative Party says.

Researchers revealed statistics covering England from the NHS and the Department of Health showing:

  • The number of teenagers admitted to hospital for alcohol-related treatment in 2006-07 was 12,682 – up 51 per cent since 2000-01;
  • From 2003 to 2007, the number of teenagers treated for sexual infections rose 21 per cent;
  • The number of teenage girls having abortions rose 15 per cent from 2003;
  • Drug-related hospital admissions among 11-15 year olds rose 33 per cent from 2000.
  • The Conservatives calculated that the damage costs the NHS £130 million each year – up from £100 million in 2000. The party blamed the Government for its ‘neglect’ of a ‘broken society’.

    Shadow Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, said: “Labour are neglecting a forgotten generation of teenagers. It’s a sad indictment of our broken society that so many are turning to things like drug and alcohol abuse at such a young age.

    “And these figures only highlight the worst cases – the young people that end up in hospital. The true toll on teenagers’ lives is far higher.”

    Last month the health secretary, Alan Johnson, launched the Adolescent Health Project which will be led by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. It will involve offering doctors and nurses free training on issues affecting teenagers.