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Child alcoholism rising

CITY police in the western town of Žilina are concerned over the rising number of underage children smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol during the summer vacation.

According to Jaroslav Sieber, deputy chief of Trenčín city police, the number of groups of teenagers engaging in these activities has risen compared to last year.

"We did not have anything like this last year. We would find two or three drunken boys, but now there are big groups of more than ten children, meeting (for drinking sessions) in Trenčín's housing estates," Sieber said to a Slovak daily Pravda.

It is believed that some children drink alcohol because their parents are at work during the day, and with the summer vacation for pupils in Slovakia extending through July and August, the children are often left with no parental supervision.

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