Binge drinking has been identified as a growing problem among adolescents and young adults. Concern should be growing among parents as the activity can cause brain damage and even death. A recent Telegraph report, however, suggests parents are instead contributing to the problem.
The UK charity Drinkaware found that parents are helping to fuel the binge drinking phenomenon among their children by purchasing the alcohol used during end-of-exam celebrations. Among those 16 and 17 year-old students who drink during summer breaks, more than one third have their drink provided by their parents.
Parents of such teens were surveyed and about half revealed they would purchase sons or daughters five or more bottles of wine or spirits, which is well above the recommended weekly alcohol intake for adults, much less teenagers. This study was conducted during a time when warnings were being released about the dangers of teenagers celebrating the end of GCSE and A-level examinations.
Officials decided to take action in Newquay, which has traditionally been a favorite spot for post-exam travelers. The seaside town saw the deaths of two teenagers within nine days of each other in 2009. Both Paddy Higgins and Andrew Curwell fell to their death from cliffs after drinking with friends.
Sniffer dogs are now being used in the area to search young people who may be entering the resort area with alcohol. Parents erroneously believe they are protecting their children by providing the alcohol, instead of recognizing the dangers when young people drink to excess. Such activity puts the young person at risk of personal injury or death and increases the chances of accidents or unprotected sex.