Teen binge drinking

Monday May 12, 2008

New statistics have found that we are losing the battle against teenage binge drinking.

Dolly Magazine's Youth Monitor Survey has found that four out of five teenagers believe it is acceptable to drink regularly.

"The Dolly survey is excellent and really reflects what my team are experiencing at St Vincent's Hospital," says Dr Gordion Fulde.

The Youth Monitor survey found that 80 percent of teens believe regular consumption of alcohol is normal, creating a 64 percent rise in binge drinking from 1992.

The number who believe drug use is acceptable has dropped from 39 percent in 2003 to 31 percent in 2007.

He says were are definitely losing the fight against binge drinking.

"The reason is that binge drinking and drinking in general isn't confined to teenagers," he says. "And teenagers look to adults, their parents, older siblings, sports stars and the media for role models, and drinking is widely accepted in our culture.

"Drinking whenever you go out is socially acceptable, it's everywhere, whereas drug use and smoking is now not socially acceptable which explains the drop in numbers," explains Dr Fulde.

"What we need to do is change behaviours," he says. "Young girls need to understand that you don't have to drink to be cool when you go out."

Teen attitudes to alcohol and drugs:

  • 80 percent say drinking ok
  • 31 percent say drugs ok
  • 20 percent decrease in smoking
  • 20 percent decrease in marijuana use
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