DAD CHAT:DEALING WITH UNDERAGE DRINKING!
5/28/2013 8:40:00 AM
This is the time of year when teens and their friends enjoy warm weather, the last days of school and, all too often, alcohol.
A 51-year-old Hingham, MA man was just arrested recently for letting teens drink at his home. Seventeen you people between 17 and 20 were arrested, as well.
Teen and underage drinking is an enormous problem in our country. Check out some of these statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According the the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survery, 39 percent of high school students drank alcohol in the past 30 days. Twenty-two percent of high school students binge drank and eight percent drove after drinking. Another 24 percent got in a car and rode with a driver who had been drinking! Alcohol is also the most used and abused drug among teens.
About 5,000 young people under the legal drinking age of 21 die in alcohol related incidents, according to the Nation Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Mothers Against Drunk Driving did a study that showed 68 percent of teen alcohol related deaths come are not traffic related. The facts: 32 percent ARE traffic related, 30 percent are homicides, 14 percent are suicides, 9 percent alcohol poisonings and 15 percent from other causes.
With these alarming statistics, how do you educate your teens about the dangers of drinking and also realize that many teens will try alcohol? Do you let them try it under your supervision? Do you let them drink in your home? What about other teens?
I have let my kids try a few sips of alcohol, on a few occasions, in my home, while my wife and I talked to them about the dangers. I will not let them have a whole drink. Some parents think that underage young people will drink no matter what and they'd rather have them drink in a safe environment.
The problem with that? It's illegal!
There has also been a movement by some college presidents to lower the drinking age to 18, to help alleviate binge drinking in college. I think that's just a legal maneuver to reduce their responsibility.
Email me your thoughts, comments and questions to HMorse@WROR.com