Pay Attention to Kids who may be At-Risk for Drinking
A new study published this month in Prevention Science identifies triggers for problem drinking behaviors in high school seniors. As kids cope with more stress at school, at home, in their relationships, in the world and their concerns about the future - be on the lookout for signs they might be turning to alcohol. Researchers identified these motivators:
- For boys - thrill seeking
- For others - to relax
- To cope with problems
- To deal with anger and frustration
Kids with more than one of the above motivating factors may be at greater risk for:
- Starting drinking at a younger age
- Having been intoxicated in the past year
- Drinking before 4 PM
Drinking patterns established when kids are teens persist into adulthood, and 75% of high school students have already tried alcohol. Alcohol use tends to peak before and after high school graduation and continues to be high until about age 25.
Maybe we need to adopt the relaxed approach of some European countries - serve a little wine to children with dinner. Educate their palate in their teen years. Allow them to drink socially with their families and loved ones. Remove the taboo, the mystique and just make it part of everyday life.
Thank you Walsh for use of photo.