Tag Archives: Underage Drinking On The Rise

Underage drinking costs society big-time

16 Feb

KING5 News reported in the story Teens Who Use Social Media Most Likely to Drink and Use Drugs, Study says

A new study finds teenagers who use social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, are most likely to drink and use drugs compared to teens who avoid the social networks.

About 70 percent of teens say they use social networking sites every day. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University surveys teens every year in an attempt to track drugs, alcohol and tobacco use. This year, questions about social media were added.

The study states that teens that use social networking sites are twice as likely to use marijuana, three times as likely to drink alcohol, and five times as likely to use tobacco.

Some experts say kids see images of teens drinking and using drugs online, which takes the shock value out of bad behavior and leads some to think it’s what everyone is doing.

There are signs which may indicate that your child has a substance abuse problem.

How Can You Recognize the Signs of Substance Abuse?

Parents provides general signs of substance abuse and also gives specific signs of alcohol abuse, and several different drugs, narcotics, and inhalants. The general warning signs are:

·         Changes in friends

·         Negative changes in schoolwork, missing school, or declining grades

·         Increased secrecy about possessions or activities

·         Use of incense, room deodorant, or perfume to hide smoke or chemical odors

·         Subtle changes in conversations with friends, e.g. more secretive, using “coded” language

·         Change in clothing choices: new fascination with clothes that highlight drug use

·         Increase in borrowing money

·         Evidence of drug paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers, etc.

·         Evidence of use of inhalant products (such as hairspray, nail polish, correction fluid, common household products); Rags and paper bags are sometimes used as accessories

·         Bottles of eye drops, which may be used to mask bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils

·         New use of mouthwash or breath mints to cover up the smell of alcohol

·         Missing prescription drugs—especially narcotics and mood stabilizers

Remember, these are very general signs, specific drugs, narcotics, and other substances may have different signs, it is important to read the specific signs. Lisa Frederiksen has written the excellent article, 10 Tips for Talking to Teens About Sex,Drugs & Alcohol which was posted at the Partnership for A Drug-Free America

Huffington Post reports in the article, 

It’s no surprise that underage drinking is common in the U.S. In a 2009 study by the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention, 42 percent of high school students reported having consumed alcohol in the previous month. But what some might find shocking is the high cost of drinking-related hospitalizations.

Underage drinking takes a toll not only on teens’ health and wellness, but also on treatment facilities. A Mayo Clinic study published today found that the total cost of hospitalizations for underage drinking is an estimated $755 million per year.

According to researchers, of the 40,000 young people aged 15-20 hospitalized in 2008, 79 percent were intoxicated when they arrived at the hospital.

The average age of alcohol-related hospitalizations was 18, and 61 percent of young people hospitalized for drinking were male. The highest number of incidences occurred in the Northeast and Midwest, while the lowest frequency was in the South.


Here is the citation for the Mayo Clinic study:

Journal of Adolescent Health

Hospitalization for Underage Drinkers in the United States

Received 28 April 2011; accepted 21 October 2011. published online 15 February 2012.
Corrected Proof

Hazelton.Org has some good reasons parents should not provide alcohol to children and the reasons can be summed up with the thought, someone has  to be the adult.      

Parents are poor role models if they reinforce the idea that alcohol and other drug use is a necessary and accepted way to entertain at parties. Kids need to know how to have fun without alcohol. Parents need to talk with their children about alcohol before hosting a party. They can be responsible hosts by setting a no-alcohol rule. Provine suggested that parents greet kids at the door, make certain that no uninvited guests are allowed in, check in on the party frequently, and not allow guests to come and go. Parents should never leave the party unattended….

The situation that most frequently results in problems is when parties are held while parents are away for the weekend, said Johnson. The word travels fast about such parties, and before you know it the party is out of control, with hundreds of uninvited guests.

Rules and expectations need to be clearly spelled out with young people before drinking opportunities present themselves. Young people need to be prepared to say no to alcohol in advance of drinking opportunities. Parents need to help them choose parties where there will be no alcohol. Parents need to deliver a clear message: Alcohol and other drug use of any kind is not acceptable.   

The fact that a parent has to assume the role of their child’s friend says a lot  about their lack of maturity and judgment. Unfortunately, for some children, mom and dad are growing up right along side them.

Assuming you are not one of those ill-advised parents who supply their child with alcohol or drugs like marijuana in an attempt to be hip or cool, suspicions that your child may have a substance abuse problem are a concern. Confirmation that your child has a substance abuse problem can be heartbreaking. Even children whose parents have seemingly done everything right can become involved with drugs. The best defense is knowledge about your child, your child’s friends, and your child’s activities. You need to be aware of what is influencing your child

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©