Adolescent alcoholism: the reality of a paediatric unit
Keywords:Adolescence, alcohol, risk behaviours, substance abuse
Introduction: Alcohol is the leading substance abuse among adolescents, and is associated with risk behaviours, school and family problems and dependency.
Objectives: To characterize the profile and pattern of alcohol consumption in the adolescents admitted for alcohol intoxication in the paediatric emergency department in Tondela-Viseu Hospital Center, Viseu.
Methods: Retrospective!descriptive study of the admissions of adolescents in the emergency paediatric department, with the diagnosis of alcohol intoxication during a five years’ period (January 2006 – December 2010).
Results: Seventy-four teenagers (aged 11 to 17 years/mean age: 15 years) were admitted with the diagnosis of!acute alcohol intoxication,!77% male.!The main context!of alcohol abuse was!with friends,!at parties, and mostly!distilled spirits drinks.! On admission!the!average Glasgow!Scale!score!was 12 (inferior to eight in 7%).!The!average!blood alcohol level!at admission!was 1.78!g/l, with!a!maximum of!3.47!g/l. Consumption!of other!drugs was found in 10% of cases.! The more frequent co-morbidities were!abrasion, lesions and!minor!head injuries; only!one!case of!supra-orbital!fracture.! Only!seven!cases required!hospitalization!over 24hours.
Discussion and conclusions: Alcohol abuse in adolescents!admitted to!our service was experimental and in group. Major concerns are the high rates of!alcohol!level and the exposure! to risk,! including! accidents.! There weren’t! high rates!of of use of other drugs.
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