The number of children who end up in hospital with alcohol poisoning every year has not decreased in the past twelve years.
Moreover, a "worrying increase" in drug use has been seen within this group since 2017, says pediatrician Nico van der Lely, founder of the alcohol clinic at the Reinier de Graaf hospital in Delft.
Van der Lely examined data from the Dutch Pediatric Identification Center on alcohol poisoning in the period from 2007 to 2019. Approximately nine hundred minors are admitted each year as a result of alcohol abuse.
In 2017, 8 percent of these minors had indications that they had used drugs in addition to alcohol.
Last year this share had risen to almost 19 percent.
"Cannabis was most often used among young people with alcohol intoxication and a positive drug screening," said Van der Lely.
The average age of children admitted with alcohol poisoning has risen from 15 in 2007 to 15.7 years in 2019. Van der Lely says that in the figures, he sees almost no children of twelve or thirteen years.
"The rise in the average age reflects the increased awareness in society about the harmful effects of alcohol, especially in the young age," says the pediatrician.
According to the Trimbos Institute, a quarter of Dutch twelve to sixteen-year-olds regularly drink alcohol.
Fifteen years ago, the share was twice as large.