Alcohol helpline for children

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A national alcohol helpline for schoolchildren was launched yesterday. Drinkline Youth is aimed at children and teenagers who need help or information about their own drinking, that of their parents or of their friends.

"The rise of alcopops and the targeting of young people by drinks companies have increased the dangers," said Wendy Robinson, the youthline manager.

The helpline has been funded by the National Charities' Lotteries Board and set up by Drinkline - the national alcohol helpline. Counsellors will be available between 11am and 11pm five days a week. Some 20 per cent of boys and eight per cent of girls aged 15-16 are drinking more than the recommended adult limits.