Some physicians in Northern Ireland are expressing concern that young women are becoming addicted to alcohol and drugs at a young age. The concern has been highlighted in recent days by the untimely death of singer Amy Winehouse at the age of 27 and her well-documented struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. The most recent government statistics show that 1,602 women in Northern Ireland were receiving treatment for alcohol or drug addictions. Of that number, 130 women were under the age of 18. “A major part of my work is related to alcohol abuse and over the past decade there has been a huge increase of alcohol abuse in young women,” said Dr. Tom Black, the deputy chair of the British Medical Association’s Northern Ireland GP committee. “Alcohol abuse is the biggest destroyer of lives. The physical problems are mostly liver failure and we have had young women die as a result.” The problem has been magnified by the low price of alcohol in Northern Ireland’s pubs and the social culture and acceptance of drinking alcohol with friends and family.