Kids as young as 9 years old are being treated for alcohol abuse at a rehabilitation clinic in Scotland.

Staff at a center in Aberdeen have already helped six boozers under the age of 10 this year.

Andrew Hall, chief executive of Alcohol Support, which runs Albyn House clinic in Aberdeen, said they had 38 under-16-year-olds currently registered at the clinic, with dozens more on the waiting list.

And he believes the binge-drinking epidemic facing Scotland's youth is only going to get worse.

"There is an increasing demand on our service from children aged 9 and up — it's a growing problem," he said. "At one stage this year we were treating six children under the age of 10.

"All the evidence shows that children are starting to drink earlier, they are drinking more and the results are getting worse — we now have kids dying of liver failure," he continued.

Mr Hall — whose group treats 1,000 people a year — said the majority of children treated were ages 11-15.

Counselor Francesca Martin, who works with children and families hit by long-term alcoholism, said a lot of kids have self-esteem issues and use drinking as an escape.

"They have a lot of problems one way or the other," she said. "A lot of them would admit to feeling quite vulnerable when they are drunk. Sometimes it can be about sex. They can't remember what happened the night before, where they have been and who they have been with."

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