Region worst for underage drinking

THE North-East has the biggest problem with underage drinking in the country, a study has found.

Balance, the region’s alcohol office, say twice as many young people living in the North-East receive treatment for booze-related problems than anywhere else in England.

The organisation’s figures show that 118 of every 100,000 under-18s in the region needed treatment during a 12-month period because of drink-double the national average.

More than 600 of the 9,450 people receiving treatment because of alcohol in the region in 2010-11 were under 18.

Balance is now calling for a review of alcohol advertising to help stop harmful levels of drinking among young people.

Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said: “Our region is drinking too much from an early age, driven by alcohol which is too affordable, too available and too heavily promoted.”