MDA reports worrying rise in drunken teens

The Magen David Adom ambulance service has reported a worrying 26 percent rise in the number of youths in Haifa drinking alcohol to the point that they needed to be taken to hospital, reports MDA said that last year it had taken 53 youths - including several as young as 12 and 13 - to hospital after they had drunk themselves into unconsciousness, 26% more than in 2007 and almost double the number in 2006. According to the report, MDA figures show that in 2006, the ambulance service was called to take 29 teenagers to hospital who were "in a state of unconsciousness as a result of excessive drinking," while in 2007, there were 42 such cases. MDA officials said it was worrying that the known dangers of excessive alcohol consumption did not seem to deter today's youngsters, and that Israel was fast adopting the habits of the western world and seeing "social drinking" becoming a normal phenomenon.