updated 3/15/2011 1:43:21 PM ET 2011-03-15T17:43:21

Hospital authorities say they have treated a 3-year-old child for alcoholism.

The Heart of England NHS Trust that runs three hospitals in central England confirmed Tuesday that a child had been treated by medical staff after being given alcohol regularly. The trust revealed the data in response to a request made under the Freedom of Information Act by a newspaper, which requested data on underage drinking.

The case highlights a new low in Britain's struggle to control a binge-drinking culture which has seen alcohol-related deaths double in the past two decades.

Chris Sorek of the lobby group, Drinkaware, says Tuesday that any alcohol could disrupt a child's development.

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