HAMBURG, Germany, May 26 (UPI) -- The number of adolescents in Germany admitted to the hospital for alcohol poisoning has more than doubled since 2000, researchers said.
Reports by the German Federal Commissioner for Narcotic Drugs said the number of adolescents treated in the hospital for alcohol poisoning went from 9,500 in 2000 to 23,165 in 2007. About 3,800 of these alcohol poisoning patients were ages 10-15, the study said.
Martin Stolle and colleagues of the German Center for Addiction Research in Childhood and Adolescence in Hamburg said that the main reason for the increase was the number of intoxicated teen girls.
Teenagers who start drinking alcohol regularly before the age of 15 have a four-fold increased risk of becoming alcohol dependent, the researchers said.
The findings were published in the current edition of Deutsches Arzteblatt International.