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Monday, May 2, 2011

Baby is treated in hospital for being drunk - while six-year-old is admitted high on illegal drugs - 2nd May 2011

A one-year-old child ended up in hospital for being drunk and a six-year-old was admitted while high on illegal drugs.

The cases are among hundreds of children, including babies and toddlers, being treated at the Royal Bolton Hospital because of drug and alcohol abuse.

Nine children aged 12 and under, as well as hundreds of teenagers, have been seen for some form of alcohol poisoning.

Nine babies younger than a year old and more than 100 one and two-year-olds needed medical help after drugs poisoning.

More than 70 three to ten-year-olds and hundreds of teenagers have ended up in A&E as a result of drugs, including a three-year-old and a six-year-old who took controlled drugs, a one-year-old with solvent poisoning and teenagers as young as 13 taking deliberate overdoses.

Health chiefs said they were worried about the figures as drugs and alcohol can cause 'significant harm' to the developing brains of children.

The figures, obtained by The Bolton News under a Freedom of Information Act request, show that children as young as a few months old have been taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital because of substance abuse.

The information covers everything from alcohol abuse to poisoning, including overdoses, of medicines, controlled drugs, illegal drugs and solvents over the past three years.

The Royal Bolton Hospital said that many of the incidents involving young children were thought to be accidents - for example with parents giving sick children too much medicine, or toddlers helping themselves to drinks.

Heather Edwards, the hospital's head of communications, said: 'Alcohol and drugs cause a lot of difficulties for individuals, families and society and are a burden on the NHS.

'It is not good news that young people are coming into contact with substances that could harm their health, whether accidentally or knowingly.' Source