Violent and abusive patients
The Marlborough Express 23/12/2010
A change in the way young people drink has led to more violent and abusive patients turning up at the Wairau Hospital emergency department in Blenheim, its head says. Wairau emergency department manager Jacqui Irvine said there had been a huge cultural shift in the drunk people aged from 14 to their early 20s coming in to the department. A few years ago they vomited, were looked after by their parents, then went home. “Now it is more common to see people who are violent, hallucinating, unpredictable and totally unable to look after themselves,” Dr Irvine said. “There are a lot more arguments and fights and some really nasty behaviour towards us as well.” Her comments follow yesterday’s report that a 14-year-old Blenheim boy spent Tuesday night in hospital after being picked up drunk by police outside the public library. He lost consciousness and had convulsions, but there was no suggestion he had been violent or difficult to deal with.
…She attributed the change to people mixing energy drinks with alcohol, which had become a preferred choice of older teenagers. “Red Bull and V have done a great job of marketing to the older teenager-young adult market. This is causing a lot of problems to these people, who are especially vulnerable to side-effects,” she said.