1,026 children treated in hospital for drug and alcohol-related illnesses last year

More than 1,000 children were treated in hospital for drug and alcohol-related last year.

According to freedom of information figures, over 63% were girls.

The new figures show the number of children who were treated in hospital for drug and alcohol-related illnesses in 2019.

The conditions include drug or alcohol poisoning, a mental disorder due to substance misuse, and new-born children affected by their mothers’ use of drugs or alcohol.

1,026 kids were treated for conditions such as these in hospital last year, down slightly from 1,101 in 2018.

A total of 762 were aged between 10 and 17 with nearly twice as many girls as boys.

264 kids were aged less than 9-years-old.

Dr Ciara Martin, a consultant paediatrician with Children's Health Ireland, says she is concerned at the number of teenagers presenting with alcohol issues.

“Probably the number we see is only very small, the tip of the actual number of children out there who are ingesting alcohol at a younger age,” she said.

“But it tends to be the children that come into us are the ones that have collapsed or maybe are found outside or out with their friends and have taken more alcohol than their system can cope with.” 

The total number of kids treated for drugs and alcohol-related illnesses in hospital is spread throughout the country, but nearly a third were in children's hospitals.

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