Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Teen Drinking Cultures in America and Driving

While teens admit to clearly hearing messages about the dangers of drinking and driving, new research indicates that teens do not acknowledge the toll alcohol plays on a maturing body or the legal consequences of consuming alcohol underage.  Alarmingly, teens studied indicate that consuming alcohol was viewed as a rite of passage in high school as they approached adulthood.  The Understanding Teen Drinking Cultures in America study was conducted by George Mason University and funded by The Century Council to learn more about teen drinking habits directly from teens themselves.

Teens admit one of the main reasons they drink alcohol is to reduce stress.  Far less emphasis was placed on peer pressure surrounding drinking.  In most instances, teens are getting alcohol from older siblings and more often than not are getting away with drinking in their parents’ home without adults recognizing the problem.
One of the main points of interest in the study is that school officials and teens alike agree alcohol awareness programs currently in the schools are ineffective.  Both suggest there is a discrepancy on what students are told about alcohol in school and their own experiences.

The study, Understanding Teen Drinking Cultures in America, was an innovative, independent research project designed to better understand the psychological and sociological factors that affect adolescents as they make decisions regarding whether to engage in alcohol-related behaviors.

In Broward County there is a Task Force to Combat Underage Drinking.  For more information, contact Pat Castillo, Director of Youth Programs at the Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse at 954-760-7007.

The Task Force to Combat Underage Drinking in Broward County was created in 2004 by The United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse (BCCSA) with guidance from the Florida Office of Drug Control and funding from the Florida Department of Transportation. The Task Force mission is to reduce underage drinking in Broward County.

Remember, Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving, teens driving buzzed kills the same as driving drunk.

Sources: The Century Council, George Mason University, American Family Insurance

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens.

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