Teens and Alcohol

Alcohol use among teenagers is a serious problem. Fortunately, a recent study showed that kids are much more likely to listen to their parents when it comes to alcohol than to their peers.

Ten years ago, fewer than a third of teenagers credited their parents’ influence for their decision not to use alcohol. In the latest surveys, that number was 83 percent, a substantial jump. Part of the reason for this is that more parents&mash;almost half, up from 26 percent a decade ago&mash;are addressing the subject, speaking to their kids regularly. Only about a quarter of parents have never had this important conversation.

Nonetheless, about 10 million teenagers reported using alcohol in a 2010 study. In fact, teenagers are responsible for 11 percent of all alcohol consumption in the U.S. Alcohol leads directly or indirectly to the deaths of 5,000 people under 21 each year. Perhaps wore, research suggests that people who start drinking in their teens are more likely to develop a substance abuse problem in adulthood.

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