Binge drinking soars among German youth, data show

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Binge drinking among young people in Germany has risen sharply over the past decade, statistics showed Tuesday, with the number of 10 to 20 year-olds hospitalised almost tripling.

In 2008, around 25,700 10-20 year-olds needed hospital treatment for alcohol poisoning, compared with just 9,500 in 2000, a rise of 170 percent, the statistics office said. Compared with 2007, the rise was 10 percent.

The numbers were particularly striking for girls aged between 10 and 15, who accounted for 53 percent of hospitalisations despite making up 47 percent of that age group. The overall increase in 2008 was also greater than for boys.

The rise in youth binge drinking in Germany, while not as strong as in Britain, has prompted the government to do more to foster cooperation between schools, local authorities and vendors of alcohol to tackle the problem.

Government figures released in May showed around 20 percent of 12 to 17 year-olds admitting to getting drunk once a month, down around five percentage points from the year before.

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