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Parents urged on binge-drinking

Parents have to share some of the responsibility for helping teenagers choose a life away from binge-drinking, a leading medical journal claims.

An editorial in The Lancet said learning not to abuse alcohol is "an important part of growing up", and avoiding health problems such as liver disease and obesity.

It added: "It is not just governments, drinks manufacturers and retailers who need to partner willingly to reduce young people's drinking.

"The biggest share, and burden, of the partnership must fall on parents and guardians who should take greater responsibility for teaching children about drinking safely.

"Creating a culture in which alcohol is enjoyed in moderation, perhaps diluted, and is drunk with food as part of sharing a meal together rather than drunk alone, is helpful.

"Learning to enjoy, without misusing, alcohol is an important part of growing up in many societies.

"For a healthy younger generation, society's relationship with alcohol has to change, beginning in the home."

The editorial adds: "It should not be acceptable for doctors, teachers or parents to turn a blind eye or offer no follow up when a child is in hospital with a head injury after drinking, when a teenager truants to drink, or when a 15-year-old goes to bed drunk."

The Lancet

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"I do believe parents hold some level of responsibility depending on the child's age. Some of these children are young adults and do not share their actions with their parents. It is very difficult to police." - Glenda Bestford, Public Health Staff Nurse, North Tyneside PCT