Eoghan Murphy
Eoghan Murphy

06.23 25 Aug 2021


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Over 900 children were treated in hospital for drug and alcohol-related illnesses last year.

According to Freedom of Information figures released to Newstalk, nearly two-thirds were girls.

The new figures show the number of children who were treated in hospital for drug and alcohol-related illnesses in 2020.

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

A total of 914 children were treated for these conditions last year - a decrease compared to 1,026 in 2019.

The figures are spread throughout the country, but 28% were treated in children's hospitals.

Dr Ciara Martin - a consultant paediatrician with Children's Health Ireland - says the problem is worse than the figures suggest.

She said: “It’s probably the tip of an iceberg.

“I think we have a lot more 10 to 17-year-olds drinking outside and in our communities. The ones who get into trouble are the ones who come into us in hospital.

“This is a very small number, and doesn’t represent what’s happening outside.”

Of those hospitalised last year, 686 children were aged between 10 and 17 - with over twice as many girls as boys.

228 of the children were aged less than nine years old.

Main image: File photo. Picture by: David Jones/PA Archive/PA Images

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