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Last Updated: Friday, 17 November 2006, 10:25 GMT
'I hope I haven't damaged myself'
Lydia
Lydia drank huge amounts of cider
Lydia is only 16, but until recently her weekly alcohol intake was more usually associated with a hardened bar fly.

She drank at least two litres - and sometimes up to four litres - of cider on a Friday and Saturday night - and sometimes on a Sunday too.

"I was absolutely wasted," she said.

Finally, she realised she needed to seek professional help.

"It was disrupting my family, it was getting in the way of friendships, and also there were health issues - not that I knew exactly what they were.

What's the point of buying a bottle of coke when you can buy alcohol?
Lydia

"I just hope that I haven't damaged anything yet."

Lydia, from Somerset, took up drinking at the age of just 14.

She used to get older boys to buy her cider.

Her logic for taking up drinking was blunt, and frightening.

"What's the point of buying a bottle of coke when you can buy alcohol, quench your thirst and have fun at the same time?"

Parents powerless

Lydia said her parents did "everything they possibly could have done" to try to tackle her problem.

"But it is not easy to stop your daughter, or son from going out. It is easy to say I'm just going to such-and-such's house, and then go somewhere completely different."

Lydia admits that peer pressure was the main reason she got hooked on alcohol.

"I used to down to the town and everybody I was with was older than me, and they were all drinking, so I thought shouldn't I be doing that as well?

"So I'd start drinking too. What are you supposed to do?

"I haven't stopped drinking. I drink now in moderation, and I don't get wasted at every opportunity."




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