While overall rates of teen drinking have declined, the number of adolescents who engage in extreme binge drinking — consuming 10 or more beverages in a row — has stayed steady, according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics. Researchers from the University of Michigan analyzed data from surveys conducted between 2005 and 2011 about the drinking behaviors of high school seniors. They found that 10.5 percent of the respondents said that in the past two weeks they'd had 10 or more drinks in one sitting. More alarmingly, six percent of high school seniors had 15 or more drinks. The Michigan team also determined that boys were more likely than girls to engage in extreme binge drinking.
"While binge drinking is a serious public health problem among high school seniors, extreme binge drinking poses an even greater threat to their physical as well as mental well-being," said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician who was not involved with the study, to HealthDay News. "The noted lack of decline in observed rates of extreme binge drinking in the past decade underscores the need for family, as well as community-based, interventions to address this dangerous trend."
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism offers the following suggestions for parents to prevent teen drinking:
- Be aware of your state's laws about providing alcohol to your own children.
- Establish policies about alcohol and be consistent enforcing rules.
- Have open and honest conversations about alcohol.
- Never provide alcohol to someone else's child.
- Work with other parents in your area to monitor kids' behaviors.
Parents are the first line of defense in the battle against substance abuse. If your teen is abusing drugs or alcohol, contact Intervention Services today. We can connect you with an experienced interventionist who can help your child get into an effective treatment program.