HEALTH: Drink problem worse among young

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Young people in Scotland are now consuming greater quantities of alcohol at any one time, according to a new report. "This is a worrying trend and leads to a much greater incidence of drunkenness, with a consequent increase in violence and criminality," it says.

The report, by the Church of Scotland's Board of Social Responsibility, refers to a study by the Centre for Drug Misuse at Glasgow University, which found that more than half of 14-year-olds had been drunk on at least one occasion.

"It would appear that strong drink is being marketed and targeted at young people to develop in them the habit of using alcohol, and that is cynical exploitation," says the board.

This month's General Assembly of the Kirk will be asked to condemn the development of "alcopops" - sweetened alcoholic drinks.