The Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS) has released a report that shows that parents in Maine are not fully aware of how often their adolescent children are experimenting with alcohol, but that they are more aware than they used to be. It’s a phenomenon that translates to all parents in all states.
It was not always the case that Americans had to be 21 to drink alcohol. In fact, laws setting 21 as the legal drinking age is only a few decades old. A new report indicates making minors wait to drink saves young lives.
Nearly 5,000 Americans under age 21 die each year from alcohol-related causes, yet it’s illegal to sell alcohol to minors. So how do underage kids get alcohol in the first place? Law officials say that in a surprising number of cases an adult supplies the alcohol. One news organization decided to see just how true that assertion was, and what they found was shocking.
In today’s society, teenagers of all ages are regularly exposed to media messages that directly or indirectly promote cigarettes and alcohol. In turn, exposure to such a barrage of messages can potentially lead to the early onset of smoking or alcohol use. According to the results of a study published in December 2013 in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, researchers can accurately track the amount of exposure that a teenager has to alcohol- and smoking-related media. The method used for this tracking is called ecological momentary assessment (EMA).
As teens navigate, communicate and even “party” through screens these days, discussions about safe alcohol consumption and responsibility must reflect the changing times. A new drinking game on Facebook proves just how far someone will go to acquire “likes” on their page, and it’s already lead to two deaths.
The transition from high school to college is a critical time for teenagers forming their long-term patterns of alcohol consumption. Current evidence indicates that parental attitudes play a prominent role in determining whether college students start participating in risky drinking behaviors. However, significant numbers of parents fail to fully recognize the alcohol-related dangers their college-age children face.
Depression is a very real illness that affects adults, teenagers, children and even toddlers and infants. But just because it strikes every age group doesn’t mean the illness looks the same at every age. Depression among children, also known as pediatric depression, looks a bit different from the way it appears in grown-ups.
A study out of Norway shows a connection between alcohol consumption and mental health issues such as behavioral problems, anxiety and depression.
Even the best kids can make poor decisions based on peer pressure and media influence. The number of teenagers that actually enjoy the taste and complexities of alcohol are exceedingly low – they’re using it to fit in and escape the pressures around them.
Adolescents may be worried about how many likes they have on their Facebook page. They may feel uneasy if they can’t use their mobile device. What they don’t think is a problem is daily pot smoking.