Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"Regular" teen drinking

Often my Internet browsing for blog material leads down a trail (short or long). I’ll stumble onto something interesting then follow links for more information or to track back and check source material, etc. This post is the result of just such a trail.

The Beachwood Reporter was critiquing an editorial about underage drinking that was in in the Chicago Tribune yesterday. They had a link to a critique of a study on which the editorial was drawn. The critique was in stats, a publication from George Mason University (interestingly I also got an email from someone at George Mason University today on another matter). The stats article was criticizing (quite justifiably it appears to me) a publication in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

I present this “map” of my journey to write this post for several reasons. First, at least to partially justify the time I spend cruising Internet news and “newsy” sites. Second, to point out that you can’t believe everything you read/see, even in a scientific, peer-reviewed journal (always question, think, be critical, accept only if satisfied after that). Third and most important, to lay out the reason for this post, to put out a bit of important information:

“47.1% of [individuals] age 12-20 are “drinkers”, that is, they consume at least one drink [alcoholic beverage] per month”.

Teens (including very young teens) are regularly drinking alcohol in alarming numbers, particularly when you consider that the younger you start to drink the higher the risk for dependence and alcohol abuse for the rest of your life. So while not “everyone is doing it”, enough are that preventative steps/programs need to happen, need to be a high priority, or we are going to “lose” a lot of teens.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You point out some interesting facts. However, what about those cases of alcohol poisoning that happen in college, that have been linked directly to the fact that those who do OD on alcohol are proven to have never taken a drink in their earlier years. I am not promoting underage drinking by any stretch, but it is a fact. Quite frankly I don't think 1 alcoholic drink per month qualifies as a drinker. 1 a week possibly, 1 a day definately, but not one a month.