Do You Suspect Your Teen is Binge Drinking?

  • Topic Info:According to Monitoring the Future, a nationwide sample of teens ranging from 8th graders to high school students were surveyed on their drinking habits.

    The results are scary.

    More than 25 percent of 8th graders have used alcohol, and that figure jumps to over 40 percent by tenth grade. What's even worse is that there is a 40 percent chance your high school aged student has binge drank (having 5+ alcoholic drinks) in the past two weeks.

    Do you suspect your teen is one of the 40 percent that binge drinks? Dr. Chuck Nozicka, an expert on the topic of adolescent behavior, joins Dr. Leigh to talk about this growing problem parents are facing.

    Why do people binge drink?

    Media shares some of the blame. Advertising and other media venues portray drinking as fun and attractive, and they actually make it out to be some sort of right of passage into adulthood.

    Parents can often be to blame as well. You are the biggest influence on your teens, and when they see behavior that it is OK to drink (or worse yet, they are actually enabled by you providing the alcohol), they feel it is acceptable behavior. You can actually be held responsible for allowing underage drinking in your home, making you vulnerable to fines and jail time... not to mention the guilt that you would feel should a child endanger himself or someone else due to you allowing him to drink.

    Your teen will have many opportunities to drink with prom, peer parties. etc. But, you will want to make sure that you have set a good example and that your teen understands the consequences that come with binge drinking.

    There are many resources to help you and your teen. Here are a few to consider:
  • Host: Leigh Vinocur, MD