A three-year-old British child is thought to be England's youngest-ever alcoholic after being recently treated for addiction at a West Midlands hospital.
As the AFP is reporting, the youngster was one of 13 people under the age of 12 who have been diagnosed by the state-run National Health Service (NHS) in central England between 2008 and 2010.
Health officials have since declined to give details on the toddler's identity or condition due to patient confidentiality rules. "We treat alcohol abuse very seriously, and have specialist teams and experts on hand who are there to treat young patients with alcohol-related problems," a spokeswoman said.
The unfortunate news came on the same day that leading health groups allegedly slammed a government initiative aimed at cracking down on binge and underage drinking. As the Sun is reporting, an eight-year-old girl from Dundee had previously been identified as the U.K.'s youngest alcoholic after it was revealed she had been raiding her parents' drinks.
Still, the latest case came as a shock to authorities. Sarah Matthews, spokeswoman for the British Liver Trust, told the Telegraph: "This is an extreme case and definitely one of the youngest cases of alcoholism we have heard of. However, it does raise the issue of the accessibility of alcohol and how normal it has become. The power of cheap alcohol, availability and promotion makes it very difficult for people to consider their health when making decisions about if they drink and how much."