‘Safe’ Teen Drinking? Here’s Why Parents Shouldn’t Facilitate It.

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By Elizabeth Heubeck

Original Source: washingtonpost.com

“Well, we did it when we were their age.”

This common refrain, popular among parents with a permissive attitude toward underage drinking, is often coupled with well-intentioned efforts to keep adolescents safe while consuming alcohol: Think encouraging alcohol-imbibing teens to take advantage of ride programs like Uber, to spend the night at a friend’s house, or to drink in one’s own home as opposed to unknown settings. Referred to by social scientists as “harm reduction,” this strategy is more than just ineffective, say experts. It’s helping to fuel an epidemic of teenage binge drinking.

Although many parents of today’s teenagers drank when they were young, data shows important differences between teen drinking then and now. In 1991, about half of high school students reported consuming alcohol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC). In 2015, less than 18 percent of high-schoolers drank. That 65 percent decline is news to celebrate. But here’s the bad news: Many of today’s teens who drink do so in excess. More than half of high school students…click here to continue reading 

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