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Youths "preloading" on cheap booze

Fresh fears have been raised about underage drinking after a charity warned more teenagers are "preloading" on cheap alcohol at home before nights out.

Youngsters are putting themselves at risk of violent attacks and serious injuries while intoxicated, according to Addaction.

Staff at the charity's rehab centres have seen more and more 14 to 16-year-olds drinking cheap alcohol at home or on the streets before going out.

The group is now calling on teenagers to be better educated about the risks of heavy drinking, which can include liver damage and obesity.

Rebecca Cheshire, manager of Addaction's services for young people, said: "Young people drinking at home before going out is nothing new, but it is excessive amounts being drunk and the younger ages at which young people are drinking which is concerning us now."

She said a crackdown on supermarket bargain deals and underage alcohol sales will not be enough to stop the problem because many youngsters still get booze from friends and relatives.

"We have to involve parents in education around alcohol and encourage them to have an honest dialogue with their children about what they are drinking," she added.


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