Glasgow children as young as 11 have been turning up at A&E drunk, it has been reported, as councillors were warned of a rise in kids attending emergency units for help.
Elaina Smith, of the Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership, said there has been an increase in intoxicated youngsters under 14 going to accident and emergency units.
Speaking at the council’s licensing board and local licensing forum this month, Ms Smith said medical staff are regularly seeing children as young as 11-years-old presenting as intoxicated.
The problem is being monitored, the meeting heard.
Ms Smith said “alcohol related deaths are at a devastating 12-year high”.
She pointed out Covid had brought to the fore that “alcohol is often used to self-medicate and deal with stresses in our lives, which can cause further harm”.
Glasgow City and Inverclyde had the highest rates of alcohol specific deaths per 100,000 population in the years 2016 to 2020. But since 2000 to 2004 the death rates have been going down.
On the positive side, Ms Smith said there is a shift in attitudes driven by the younger generation who want to reduce how much they drink to boost wellbeing.
The meeting heard there are more alcohol-free beers available, but added there is still an issue with ‘sober shaming’ and badgering people who don’t drink.
Donna Boyd, of the Scottish Recovery Consortium, told the meeting alcohol-free events are running in Glasgow as part of a project called Freed Up.
A Christmas rave is scheduled to take place this week at the TIME Event Space on Maxwell Street in the city without drink on offer.
Pointing out comedy and live music gigs have been arranged at other events, Ms Boyd said: “We are going to build on that as a city centre space to hold sober events.”
“It is aimed at the recovery community to give them a safe space to socialise and to try different things.”
She added: “We want to get the word out to attract more people along and normalise and reduce stigma for people who would feel under pressure to drink elsewhere.”
Pointing out more premises are offering no alcohol products, Donald MacLeod, of The Concert Promoters Association, said: “Choice is everything.
“You are now getting Heineken offering a quality low or zero alcohol product as is Brewdog.”
Mr MacLeod continued: “When alcohol-free products are making the same margins businesses are more than happy.”
By local democracy reporter Sarah Hilley