More alcohol prevention needed for teens: doctors

DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said

Taipei Times
Date: Jul 05, 2020
By: Yang Yuan-ting and Dennis Xie / Staff reporter, with staff writer

Three women drink beer outside a Kenting bar during the Spring Scream music festival on April 6 last year. Warning: Excessive consumption of alcohol can damage your health
Photo: Tsai Tsung-hsien, Taipei Times

The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents.

One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology.

The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said.

“There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed hinders their brain development, he said, citing the sensitivity of the hippocampus and the prefrontal lobe to ethanol    [FULL  STORY]

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