3-Year-Old UK Child Treated for Alcoholism

As per an article that appeared in The Telegraph website on March 14, 2011, a 3-year-old child from West Midlands in the UK was diagnosed as alcohol dependent by the Heart of England NHS Trust sometime between 2008 and 2010.

Shockingly, the same report that discussed this 3-year-old alcoholic also stated that 106 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 16 were also treated for alcoholism.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Children

According to a research study that was undertaken in 2010 or 2011 by Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, hundreds of children in Great Britain are admitted to hospitals every year with alcohol-related problems, often after their parents gave them or purchased alcohol for them.

These same researchers also uncovered the fact that 165 adolescents under the age of 17 were treated during a 5-year period for drug and alcohol problems AND that 4 of these 165 children were five years old.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

This story about a 3-year-old alcoholic child is absolutely bizarre. And keep in mind that this is NOT an instance of a child who was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome at birth.

Rather, this is about a child who was given alcohol regularly for six months.

The Child's Parents

Perhaps the most important questions about this alcoholic child center on his parents.

What beliefs did the child's parents have that would justify giving a child alcohol? What is the mental health of the child's parents?

Were the parents part of a cult that believed that it was best to let a child drink everyday so that he could become alcohol dependent?

Were the parents drug and/or alcohol dependent and in no position to properly raise a child? Was the family homeless and living in the streets?

What possible rationale could the parents have for giving their child alcohol regularly for six months?

Did the child's parents honestly think that letting their child drink early in life would discourage later use?

If so, this is ridiculous due to the fact that the child will more likely than not be unable to remember ANYTHING about his life between the ages of 2-1/2 and 3.

This Child's Future

What kind of future does this child have, not only because of his alcoholism, but perhaps more importantly, regarding life in general?

What kind of common sense, life skills, problem solving, coping skills, and career direction will this child get from his parents, who more likely than not are extremely dysfunctional?

As part of their socialization process, children learn a lot from their early surroundings and especially from their parents.

How can it be expected that this child will be able to become a healthy, fully-functioning person who will contribute to society when he was raised in such a dysfunctional household?

More Evidence of Teenage Alcoholism

A 3-year-old alcoholic is obviously an "extreme" case, but according to the Heart of England NHS Trust, between 2008 and 2010 106 teenagers aged 13 to 16 were also treated for alcohol addiction.

Certainly alcoholic children between the ages of 13 and 16 is not as unusual as a 3-year old alcoholic, but children who are alcohol dependent at ANY age is abhorrent and so very wrong.

Let us set aside the bizarre story of the alcoholic 3-year old for a moment and think about these 106 teenage alcoholics.

In a 3-year period, 106 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 16 were treated for alcoholism. Question. How many teenage alcoholics during this same time frame were NOT treated?

How is it possible for teenagers to be alcohol dependent without their parents or their school teachers having some knowledge about their underage drinking?

If the parents of these teens knew about the drinking behavior of their children, what did they do to address this problem? Did they take their children to the family doctor or to an alcohol rehab facility?

Teaching Coping Skills and Parenting Skills in Our Schools

Perhaps we need to have parenting classes IN OUR SCHOOLS rather than only in adult education programs.

In a related manner, doesn't it make a lot of sense to teach all of our children parenting skills, coping skills, problem solving skills, and life skills while they are in school as opposed to waiting until they are older and in adult education classes?

Doesn't it make a lot of sense to start thinking about drug and alcohol abuse and other types of dysfunctional behavior proactively (via education and prevention programs) AND reactively (via drug and alcohol treatment programs)?

To view the original source for this article, see 3-year-old child alcoholic drinking alcohol for 6 months.