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Children aged 10 sent for alcohol counselling

Friday, November 13th, 2009 Children aged 10 sent for alcohol counselling

Children as young as 10 are being referred for alcohol counselling in Scotland after being caught drinking on the street.

The crackdown has seen children of primary school age referred to addiction workers because they drink on a regular basis.

A youth worker has now been stationed at the A&E department in West Lothian, Scotland, to counsel children in the area after picking up 185 drunken youths in a year.

Addiction workers believe that children are turning to alcohol to help them cope with their unhappy home lives or issues such as bullying.

The scheme, which is known as Operation Floorsweep, sees that under-16’s caught drinking on the street are given help by West Lothian Drug and Alcohol Services, who also offers support to the teenagers families.

There has been a 40 per cent reduction in alcohol related disorder in West Lothian and there are now proposals for a national roll out across Scotland and the UK.

Greg Forbes, of Lothian and Borders Police, said: “The very young children are a minority but it does happen.

“That’s why we’re going into primary and secondary schools now and trying to educate kids to the dangers of alcohol.

“If you can do anything to help kids at that age, you have to do it.”

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