UCC (University College Cork) head of student health, Dr. Michael Byrne has revealed that students have already developed unhealthy patterns of alcohol use long before starting university.
Dr. Byrne said that drinking was become “more and more prevalent” among incoming students. He said that he also discovered from talking to secondary school principals that both Leaving Certificate and 5th year students were already drinking.
Underage drinking has become more common in recent years with one in four children in the Republic of Ireland admitting that they have already been drunk, at some stage.
It’s also been revealed that a child as young as 12 from Co. Cork was treated for alcohol problems at the start of this year.
While the youngest client under the Rep. of Ireland's HSE’s(Health Service Executive) program for alcohol addiction, is 15 years old.
Dr. Byrne said it has now become a “regular and consistent” part of his work treating students who have over-abused alcohol.
Dr. Byrne is now organising a movement geared at raising awareness of what harm alcohol can do.