Schools rap on alcohol

IN the week that the Prime Minister's 16-year-old son Euan was picked up by police for drunken behaviour, delegates at the Royal College of Psychiatrists' annual meeting in Edinburgh were warned that the need for education in schools about alcohol is not being fully met.

Bruce Ritson, consultant psychiatrist at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital and a member of the Scottish advisory committee on alcohol misuse, said: "I would hope that alcohol education is integrated into the chool curriculum. But it does worry me that only lip-service is being paid to it."

The advisory group is due to come up in 18 months with what will be the first national policy in the UK on alcohol, and education is part of the deliberations.

Dr Ritson said it should not be forgotten that, over the past decade, there have been significant increases in the number of 11 to 15-year-olds reporting having drunk alcohol from one to at least four times at week.

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