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Research call over teenage drinkers

Campaign group Alcohol Concern has called for more research into the way alcohol can affect teenagers' health.

The organisation said it was concerned the recent rise in teenage drinking would result in more people suffering alcohol-related illnesses at younger ages.

The group's call comes after news that a 22-year-old man has died in hospital after becoming a teenage alcoholic.

A spokeswoman for Alcohol Concern said there had been very little research into the effect of alcohol on young people.

"A study in the United States has shown that if you are having your first drink at an age younger than 15 then you are more likely to become alcohol dependent. And we would like to see research done in the UK," she added.

Gary Reinbach, 22, of Dagenham, Essex, was seriously ill at University College Hospital, London, after suffering cirrhosis of the liver.

His mother, Madeline Hanshaw, told The Sunday Times that her son had started drinking at 13 but was unaware of how it would damage his health at 22.

The Alcohol Concern spokeswoman said if more teenagers are drinking people will become seriously ill at a younger age.

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Alcohol Concern