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Právo: Young Czechs frequently injured under influence of alcohol

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Prague, Dec 9 (CTK) – The number of young Czechs between 15 and 19 who were injured under the influence of alcohol almost tripled, from 1,489 to 4,297, and of those under the influence of drugs rose almost 12 times from 88 to 1,013 between 2009 and 2016, daily Pravo writes Friday.
Veronika Benesova, from the Injury and Violence Prevention Centre at the Motol Teaching Hospital in Prague, said the negative trend was largely due to the fact that alcohol and drugs were increasingly accessible to youths.
“If young people try something, they have no idea of what this would do to them,” Benesova told the paper.
“In addition, the drug is used in a generally risk situation such as a car drive, a motorcycle drive or when doing a sport, such as in the mountains,” she added.
“If exposed to narcotics, people are not only unable to guess the risks involved, but their ability to react to an unexpected change in the situation lowers,” Benesova said.
Drugs and alcohol increasingly threaten children, though not so much as teenagers, Pravo writes.
Last year, 437 children were treated at surgery clinics for an injury under the influence of alcohol. Seven years ago, the figure stood at 298.
In 2009, there were only 37 drug-related injuries among children, but the figure rose to 98 by last year, Pravo writes.
In general, the overall injury rate among children has been falling, although schools complain that children are increasingly prone to injuries, it adds.
However, the statistics may be slightly misleading. Some injuries may not end up at a surgery clinic, but only with a general practitioner, due to which they do not appear in surgeons’ statistics, Pravo writes.
The mortality of children and youths is falling, too. The death due to external causes such as a serious injury and violence is the most frequent cause of death, mostly relating to teenage boys, it adds.
Six years ago, 103 boys aged 15-19 died because of the described causes, while the number of girls only stood at 39.
By last year, the figures decreased to 58 and 23, respectively.
“This may be due to a better health care,” Benesova said.
“In addition, the spending on prevention is rising and the problem is also more spoken about,” she added.
Benesova said most young people were dying as a consequence of traffic accidents, poisoning and suicides.

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