London, Nov 16 (UNI) The escalating drug and alcohol abuse among children in the UK has become the rising concern of the Government.
As many as one in 20 children between the age group of 10 to 15 admitted taking part in heavy drinking sessions - raising fresh fears of Britains binge drinking culture, according to latest survey.
Alarmingly, one in 10 secondary school pupils had tried cannabis and three per cent took hard drugs, including cocaine, heroin and ecstasy, the survey by Ofsted, an education watchdog said.
More than 111,000 school children aged 10 to 15 across England were surveyed and it was found that anxiety over examinations was the biggest worry among children. The watchdog urged urgent action to make children feel safer from bullies.
The survey showed that the consumption of alcohol increased throughout school life. Among 14 and 15-year-olds, 74 per cent had tried alcohol, 37 per cent had been drunk in the past month and five per cent of primary school children had tried smoking.
''Reluctance to prosecute shopkeepers and landlords serving under-age drinkers meant many children were regularly blowing their pocket money on alcohol,'' Professor Roger Williams, director, Institute of Hepatology, University College London, was quoted by the Telegraph as saying.
A leading liver specialist has described the disclosures as 'horrifying' and insisted easy access to cheap drinks could leave young people with brain damage or liver failure, raising the question as when to teach children about alcohol.