Teen Binge Drinking: All Too Common
Here is the breakdown of girls by grade level who admitted to binge drinking:
- 9th grade 45%
- 10th grade 50%
- 11th grade 58%
- 12th grade 62%
Why are teens binging?
The CDC study confirms that teens aren't sipping alcohol --- no, they’re gulping it. This study brings light to the fact that high school students tend to binge drink whenever they consume alcohol. About ninety percent of the alcohol consumed by high school students is consumed through binging. WOW! So, why are teens engaging in this dangerous and potentially life altering behavior?
As children move from adolescence to young adulthood, they face major changes not just developmentally, but emotional and physically. The transition into puberty and adolescence brings about a desire for independence. Many teens turn to risk taking and experimentation as they navigate through their rite of passage into adulthood, which can lead to drinking.
There are many factors that lead to teen drinking. If you ask a teen why they drink you may give you a litany of reasons from:
"I was bored."
"Everyone else does it."
"I like how it makes me feel."
"People like me when I drink because I act different."
"I just wanted to see what it would make me feel like."
"My parents do it so it must not be a big deal."
"It helps me escape reality."
Regardless of the reason, teens who drink will tell you that alcohol is readily available and easy to get their hands on. Whether it's sitting wide open in their parent's liquor cabinet or at a friend's house most teens can find it without much effort. Which leads to the a real concern: lack of supervision.
Risks Associated with Binging
It is estimated that alcohol consumption is responsible for about 80,000 deaths in the US each year.
Binge drinking has also been associated with many health problems including:
- Heart disease
- Liver Disease
- Chemical Dependency
- Alcohol Poisoning
Alcohol is an easily available drug that is widely promoted throughout society. Teens engaging in the dangerous behavior of binge drinking are not only putting themselves at risk, they're putting others in jeopardy. Drunk driving accidents, homicides, suicides and other injuries have been attributed to alcohol use. Also, teens who begin drinking at an early age have an increased chance of developing an alcohol dependency. It is crucial that we begin educating our youth about the dangers of alcohol and promoting preventative measures to ensure they understand the serious consequences of alcohol use. Hopefully, if we all join forces we won't see the alarming statistics that were revealed in the CDC study.