3-Year-Old Alcoholic Headed for Rehab

Those "hilarious" toddler with empty beer bottle photos most of us have from our childhoods or our children's are a lot less funny after hearing this story. A 3-year-old child in the UK is reportedly being treated in the hospital for the symptoms of alcoholism.

The child is part of a group of 13 children all of whom are under the age of 12 who were diagnosed with alcoholism by the Heart of England NHS Trust between 2008 and 2010. According to Fox News, Nicolay Sorensen of a UK-based alcohol awareness organization said:

To be diagnosed alcoholic, it's possible this child would have shown a physical dependency. They would have had to ingest enough to cause withdrawal symptoms. It is a horrifying case.

In fact, the child was thought to have been given booze repeatedly for six months and suffered withdrawal symptoms such as shaking and wild mood swings.


There really are no words for a story like this. Like the toddler who was a smoker, it's hard to imagine what kind of parents would let a 3-year-old drink like that. In fact, it sounds less like they "let" him and more like they "made" him. It goes without saying that this is child abuse, but what is left for a 3-year-old who has already been addicted to alcohol in his short life?

The American Medical Association has done studies using magnetic resonance imaging of the brains of 14- to 21-year-olds who abused alcohol and those of non-drinkers. That study found that drinkers had about 10 percent smaller hippocampi -- the area of the brain that handles memory and learning. The damage is likely irreversible.

That means that these parents, awful as they are, are even worse than we thought. They have let their child irreversibly damage his brain. Note that the studies the AMA conducted were done on "children" 14-21. Three years old is unheard of. No one would even conduct such a study because it shouldn't even be a possibility.

If parents could potentially get in trouble for having obese children, what should happen if they have toddler alcoholics? Personally, I would think jail is too good for these people.

What do you think of this story?


Image via  markhillary/Flickr

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