Introducing Teenagers to Alcohol in their Teen Years Can be Risky: Study

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Teenagers, Drinking habits
Introducing teenagers to alcohol in their teen years, might not lead them to grow better and healthy habits of drinking. Pixabay

Washington D.C. [USA], July 21, 2017: Introducing teenagers to alcohol in their teen years, might not lead them to grow better and healthy habits of drinking. A recent study has discovered that it could harm them.

Around 2800 teenagers from twelve to seventeen, were surveyed by a research-team of the University of Adelaide. They had to submit a snap of their alcohol intakes and influences.

Lead author Jacqueline Bowden said that intake of alcohol is quite harming and a major issue in Australia, where, most of the time the drinking patterns are set during the adolescence. Alcohol is a severe cause of death in young people while it leads to cancer. That is why it is extremely important to understand the drinking behavior in teens so that it can be delayed or even better, prevented at an early stage, mentioned ANI report.

She further added that parents do not realize how much influence they have on the decisions that their teenage kids make regarding alcohol-intake. The attitude and approach towards drinking plays a pivotal role as it can make children get rid of the habit of drinking or prevent them from getting into that habit, said Bowden.

It was found in the study that most of the teenagers had tried alcohol by the age of sixteen. However, some students reported that they only drank occasionally.

It has also been observed that a mere twenty eight percent of students were aware that there is a link between cancer and alcohol, which is inclusive of age groups. It is noted that teens were less likely to get into the habit of drinking as a consequence of the disapproval of their parents for underage-drinking. It is also observed that kids aged 14 to 17 were unwilling to drink if they had the awareness that alcohol causes cancer.

It has been noted that provocation or approval from friends for drinking, leads one to get into the habit of drinking alcohol. When teens start drinking, the availability of alcohol becomes the regulator for their habit or addiction. In that regard, it is true that teens with handsome pocket money have better access to alcohol.

Chief Executive of Cancer Council SA, Lincoln Size said, “This latest evidence highlights the need to educate young people about the consequences of alcohol consumption and for parents to demonstrate responsible drinking behavior. We need to get the message through that what may be considered harmless fun actually has lifelong consequences.”

Bowden noted that it is necessary for everyone to address the issue of supply of alcohol to teens. “Many parents believe providing their children with alcohol in the safe environment of their home teach them to drink responsibly. However, the weight of evidence suggests that this increases consumption, and is not recommended.”

“Our results also found that those adolescents who thought they could buy alcohol easily were more likely to drink regularly. The issue of availability – including price – and marketing of alcohol in the community is a major hurdle to be overcome,” Bowden was quoted as reporting. Alcohol has become less expensive in the last few decades, which resulted into the rise of places that sell alcohol. Coupled with sponsorship, and advertisement, the message reaches as alcohol is the norm, Bowden added.

It was pointed out by her that parents play a pivotal role in helping kids and shaping their mindsets in developing a healthier approach towards alcohol. Parents have the ability to limit the boundaries of the kids and clear their notions, mentioned ANI report.

Bowden thinks that parents should follow certain rules and regulations, such as the following-

– Discussing the alcohol use and abuse frankly with children, so that they can have a better understanding towards the habit of consumption of alcohol

– Being aware of the damages caused by alcohol in the human body and clarifying that to the kids

– Staying updated about upcoming occasions, like parties and setting limits, boundaries of expectations of behavior for the kids.

– Rethinking about consuming alcohol in front of kids, as it is observed that most of the alcohol is consumed by the adults at the household.

– Organizing alcohol-free events and keeping in check that it stays alcohol-free strictly

– Completely avoiding binge-drinking

– Avoiding buying alcohols for teenagers and giving them drinks at parties

It is often missed out by people that alcohol is the most vehemently consumed recreational-drug in Australia and it affects multiple families. Hence, it is necessary for parents to set examples for their kids to follow the right path; Bowden was quoted as saying.

The result of the study has been published in a journal named ‘BMC Public Health.’

– prepared by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter @ElaanaC

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