The total number was at 2,234 last year and applies to those aged between 12 and 17. Th figure has hardly changed over the past 10 years. In the Netherlands, this number is 3 times lower.
The youngest category of 12- and 13-year-olds even saw a slight increase. "The figures give rise to concern", says professor Jozef De Dooy, an expert in intensive care for children. "This can have grave consequences for these teenagers both in the short and the long term. It is also disturbing that they can get hold of alcohol so easily, while they don't realise the consequences."
The alcohol abuse is as big a problem among boys as among girls. "But girls need less alcohol to become intoxicated. They get into trouble more easily." The figures are highest in West Flanders, where the rate is double as high as for Flemish Brabant.