London: There has been a huge increase in the number of young alcoholics in Britain, figures have revealed.

According to the statistics, there has been an overall rise of some 61 per cent young alcoholics in the UK. In fact, hospital admissions for alcoholic liver disease among the early 30s age group in the northeast have increased by more than 400 per cent since 2002.
   
The northeast also has the highest rate of 11 to 15-year -olds who drink in England and the highest rate of under-18s admitted to hospital because of alcohol.
   
The figures, published by health campaign group, Balance, reveal there were 189 hospital admissions for 30 to 34-year-olds in 2010 compared with 37 in 2002. Balance is now calling for a review of alcohol advertising.
   
An open letter signed by 36 of the northeast's top liver specialists laid bare the problem.
   
It reads: "As recently as a decade ago, it was unusual for a liver specialist to treat anyone for alcoholic cirrhosis who had not reached their 50s.
   
"Alarmingly, this is no longer the case. In the north east we are in the middle of an epidemic. The average adult now consumes just under 11 litres of pure alcohol each year, more than double levels recorded in the 1950s.
   
"We've created an excessively pro-alcohol culture by selling alcohol for pocket money prices, promoting it heavily and widely and making it available 24 hours a day."
   
A Department of Health spokesman was quoted by a daily as saying, "Liver disease is a silent killer."

(Agencies)