Social networking websites could have a negative influence on a child's beliefs about alcohol and normal drinking behavior. A new study conducted by the alcohol awareness organization Drinkaware indicates that 39 percent of 10 to 17-year-olds have seen images of their friends drunk on social networking websites. More than one tenth of those children were under the age of 13.
Researchers also found that seven percent of 10 to 11-year-olds reported being encouraged to drink by a peer. This number rose to 37 percent for the 15 to 17-year-old age group. A fifth of the children in the study said that all or most of their friends drink alcohol.
"Children as young as 10 are seeing drunkenness normalized through images — whether this is online, in the media or through their own experiences, said Anne Foster, Drinkaware's communication director, in a statement. "Undoubtedly, friends are influential in shaping the way young people think about alcohol, but just as influential are parents who can provide support and advice to help children cope with these pressures."
Drinkaware encouraged parents to begin talking to their children early about alcohol abuse. According to the organization, most children will go to their parents first for information and advice about alcohol. Parents need to feel confident and prepared to honestly answer of of their children's questions.
Parents must be the first line of defense in the battle against teen drug and alcohol abuse. It you believe that your child has a problem with addiction, now is the time to act. Contact Intervention Services today to learn more about our youth intervention services.