Why do British teenagers get so drunk

England: Brits get drunk in elementary school

Great Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced a desperate "war on booze": Five-year-olds are to be educated about the dangers of alcohol in schools, because the young people on the island are suffering from a "drinking epidemic". According to the national health authority, "alcohol education" should be included in the curriculum. The offspring would then be informed of the consequences of excessive consumption. In addition, the benefits of moderate drinking should be made palatable to the little ones. The subject of the "alcohol lessons" will also be advertising. In the future, teachers should keep an eye on problem cases that can be offered to one-on-one sessions with therapists and in addiction clinics - if desired, even without the parents' knowledge.

As the British daily Daily Telegraph reports, the measures are based on shocking figures: A government survey showed that one in 20 children between the ages of ten and eleven had looked too deeply into the bottle in the past month. Among the 14 to 15 year olds there were seven out of 20.

The British Prime Minister fears that the new 24-hour pubs, supermarkets and kiosks have made things worse: According to Brown, they will soon only sell beer and schnapps until 11 p.m. "There are serious concerns about when alcohol is sold, at what price, how it is advertised and to whom it is sold," a prime minister spokesman told the Daily Mirror. There are now 5,100 pubs and nightclubs with 24-hour licenses in the UK, 70 percent more than last year. Brown is working closely with wholesalers and retailers to tackle the growing alcohol problem. According to a study by the Nuffield Foundation - a foundation that, among other things, deals with British public health - the number of alcohol deaths has doubled since 1991 to 16,000 a year. 21 groups, headed by the Royal College of Physicians, are calling for the alcohol tax to be increased by ten percent. The British Beer and Drinking Association, on the other hand, sees no need for action "for massive tax increases and further restrictions on personal freedom," said its spokesman, Mark Hastings.

The drinking habits of British youth

Every Briton knows the drinking habits of young people well enough, in almost all inner cities the same picture presents itself at the weekend: young people stumble through the streets, drunk, shouting, throwing up, fighting, bullying passers-by, peeing or having sex in public. The police are doing their best but have not been able to cope with these activities for a long time. The hospital emergency rooms are crammed with bloodied victims of brawls and youths with alcohol poisoning.

There are many reasons for this: alcohol is cheap and always available thanks to 24-hour shopping. There is little knowledge about health risks. There are plenty of bad role models: Hardly a weekend goes by without some celebrity being photographed by paparazzi in a hailstorm. New mixed drinks like alcopops have made coma drinking palatable to girls in the truest sense of the word. Unsurprisingly, the pregnancy rate and sexually transmitted disease rate among British teenagers has skyrocketed over the past decade.

Extreme examples like that of the 17-year-old Hayley Nash make it clear that things are going downhill with British youth: At the height of their "alcoholic career", the girl from Walsall, England, dumped a bottle of vodka and eight cans of beer behind her bandage - every day! At this point, she had already been consuming excessive amounts for four years. The result: severe liver damage and high blood pressure. She had to stay away from school for two years to fight her addiction. She has now survived the worst and wants to help other children and young people avoid this horror trip: "It is too easy for children to get alcohol," she explained, "and it is just as addictive as heroin and crack. Me told me I had no problem drinking, but I finally saw it. "