A 3 year old boy has been admitted to hospital for alcoholism. The unnamed child is being treated in a West Midlands hospital when it was discovered that he had been given alcohol regularly for at least 6 months.
The Heart of England NHS Trust identified a string of underage children with serious drinking problems in a study last year and this was the youngest and most troubling case. Doctor’s fear that the boy will suffer withdrawal problems such as mood swings and the shakes, but could – more seriously – have suffered brain damage.
Nicolay Sorensen from Alcohol Concern said:
“To be diagnosed alcoholic, it’s possible this child would have shown a physical dependency. ’They would have had to ingest enough to cause withdrawal symptoms. It is a horrifying case.”
No details of the child’s background have been given, but the case will serve to highlight concerns about the availability of cheap alcohol for home use through supermarkets – and comes on the day that drink charities have pulled out of the Government’s proposed ‘alcohol responsibility‘ deal.
We’re in two minds on the issue, being both fans of the drink and opponents of people being sick outside our house. But using extreme outlying cases like this as a basis of or justification for law is rarely helpful. It’s also worth nothing that, despite the horror stories and tabloid front pages, we’ve been drinking less booze in Britain for several years now, so perhaps some of the bluster and hand-wringing is a little misplaced.
No comfort to the 3 year old boy, of course. Godspeed little man – and hope the rest of your life works out better for you.
[img courtesy: Wikimedia]