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 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.