Teens are binge drinking more than ever

Apr 2, 2019, 2:02 PM
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The good news from the Centers of Disease Control is that teens are not drinking as much as teens once did. A recent study says fewer than 18% of teens drink.

The bad news is, of teens who do, more than half are drinking until they pass out, according to the CDC.

Even more concerning, parents are enabling their teenagers to get involved in the dangerous activity of binge drinking. A Washington Post article says teens who binge drink are doing it at home when their parents are there.

Binge drinking is defined by the CDC as drinking five or more drinks at a time.

A researcher says parents are even buying the alcohol for their teenagers and for their teens’ friends to drink at a party at the parents’ home.

Drinking on Mom and Dad’s dime

Teen drinking is being fueled by their parents.

One in four teens say their parents are providing alcohol, according to the CDC.

On the Dave & Dujanovic program Tuesday, Debbie Dujanovic called that behavior on the part of parents “dangerous, illegal, and enabling.”

She wanted to know how parents justify giving their teens enough alcohol to cause the teens to become blackout drunk. Are parents who want to help their kids drink safely making the situation worse, she asked.

Behind the practice of allowing drinking in the home, Dujanovic believes, is a dangerous myth: Teens will drink more responsibly at home than if the teens must sneak around to drink.

Does giving teens alcohol prevent more risky behaviors elsewhere?

Research shows that teens are drinking greater quantities of alcohol at home than when they are drinking outside the home.

Hiding an activity is always going to have the potential of leading to hiding a dangerous activity, Dujanovic says. But she adds, in the case of drinking at home, it appears that openly permitting teens to imbibe is leading to more teens who drink until they pass out, meaning they are entering a temporary comatose state.

Some parents who called into the show Tuesday say they tell their teens that, no matter what, the teens can call their parents for help. If the teens can’t get home safely, they can get help from mom and dad.

The negative effects of alcohol on teenagers are well-documented. Dujanovic believes allowing a teen to drink until he or she blacks out can lead to painful consequences that may last for a lifetime.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio. Users can find the show on the KSL Newsradio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

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Teens are binge drinking more than ever