Parents: Binge Drinking Alert

Dealing with the issues of alcohol use among teens is usually complicated and challenging. But parents must tackle this subject. A brand-new study indicates a significant percentage of teens are at risk for all sorts of alcohol-related problems. JAMA Pediatrics just reported that of 16,000 high school seniors in their study, 1 in 10 reported consuming 10 or more drinks in a row. That’s considered “extreme binge drinking.” More than 5 in 10 admitted to downing a whopping 15 or more drinks in a row during the two weeks preceding this study. According to the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, by college the percentage of students binge drinking rises to 40%.

These facts should serve as a warning to all parents of teens to become familiar with the dangers of binge drinking—and to discuss them with their teens. Binge drinking results in dizziness, loss of coordination, and lack of judgment. Accidents, unintentional injuries, and risky or inappropriate sexual activities are common. When enough alcohol is consumed, breathing and heart rates slow down and the gag reflex is suppressed, increasing the chance of choking on vomit if the drinker loses consciousness. Alcohol poisoning is sometimes fatal.

Teens should be made aware of this information to protect themselves and their friends. Since they aren’t medically trained, they should not hesitate to call 911 to get help for anyone who may be in danger.

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