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Don’t feed alcohol to teens

by James Heller 16. October 2009 12:09
Parents need to be vigilant when it comes to adolescent alcohol abuse.  Teens can obtain alcohol in many ways, and most parents do their best to prevent this from happening.  But the disturbing fact is that youths get alcohol either at parties or from adults about half the time.

Parents should understand that teens abuse alcohol usually in response to peer pressure.  If alcohol is available at a party, even the most “straight-arrow” adolescent may drink a little.  While this may seem tame to many individuals these days, just a little drink could be the start of a downward spiral.  That little drink will most likely go undetected, promoting future use due to the lack of consequences.

So how does alcohol get to the parties? Studies indicate that the use of fake identification and less-than-honest liquor store employees are not the only problem.  Adult relatives and friends are actually buying alcohol for adolescent parties where they know abuse will take place.  Considering all we know about alcohol’s effect on the body and adolescent brain development, it begs the question, “Why?”

One answer is the same as why teens drink; Peer pressure.  These adults want to be friends with adolescents, and some even prey on them sexually.  Many of these adults are friends of the family or extended family who are trusted by parents.  And, worst of all, some of them are the parents.

Yes, it is scary and disturbing.  But parents may need this type of shock to understand the magnitude of the youth alcohol abuse problem.  Since 1996 the data on how teens obtain alcohol has not changed.  The problem will not just go away.  Hopefully, information like this and our other articles on adolescent alcohol abuse will have an effect.

Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Weekly briefly reported on this subject, as shown below.  This publication can help parents and others to understand the problems of alcohol dependence and drug addiction.

-- Begin external content --

California teens obtain alcohol through house parties, adults

Although the state has made progress in curtailing the purchase of alcohol by minors, adolescents continue to obtain liquor at house parties or with the help of adults, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported October 11. Since 1996, the Target Responsibility For Alcohol Connected Emergencies (TRACE) unit of the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has investigated 23 serious incidents involving intoxicated teens in the county of San Diego.

Roughly half have involved alcohol consumed at house parties. This month a Rancho Santa Fe teen was killed in a car accident after he and his friends drank at a local party.

-- Source: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/110575473/home --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides teen alcohol and drug treatment with education as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare.  If you or a loved one needs help with adolescent alcohol or drug abuse, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.