Binge drinking: girls catching up on boys

An increasing number of youngsters end up in hospital because of binge drinking. Their number has doubled in 15 years' time. Most of them are 17-year-olds, and the number of girls with alcohol intoxication is on the rise. The situation is better among teenagers in the category until 15 years.

In 2014, a total of 2,433 minors were taken to hospital after binge drinking. This equals 47 teenagers each week. They drank too much alcohol in a short period; generally, experts are talking about at least 6 glasses of alcohol for boys in two hours' time, compared to 4 for girls.

The number of binge drinkers needing urgent help in hospital doubled in 15 years' time. Doctor Michel Callens says the most striking thing is that girls have changed their behaviour: they are less inhibited to consume alcohol than before. The popularity of sweet alcoholic drinks and cocktails also plays a role, says Callens. 

"Alcohol abuse concerns both boys and girls", says child doctor Jozef De Dooy. "Girls are now doing the same as boys, but get drunk more easily."

There is also good news: alcohol intoxication among 15-year-olds saw a drop on the year in 2014. This is probably due to the ban to sell alcohol to teenagers under 16.