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UK third in teen binge-drink table

In Europe, only Bulgaria and the Isle of Man are worse than the UK for binge drinking among teenagers, figures show.

A study from the University of the West of England found that more than half of British youngsters drink to excess each month, with girls identified as being worse than boys.

There are concerns that the youngsters are developing serious illnesses as a result of alcohol abuse, with many actually dying early due to the problem.

Out of 35 European countries, Bulgaria had the biggest problem with binge-drinking delinquency among 15 and 16-year-olds.

Lead researcher Professor Martin Plant believes that a minimum price for alcohol of 50p per unit would save 3,000 lives every year. He also thinks that the government would save £1bn a year through a reduction in hospital admissions, the number of days people take off work and drink-related disorder.

Professor Plant said: "The UK retains its unenviable position in relation to binge drinking, intoxication and alcohol-related problems among teenagers.

"This problem is both serious and chronic. There is a clear scientific consensus that alcohol education and mass media campaigns have a very poor track record in influencing drinking habits."

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University of the West of England