d8eab08be0f355ee9c2a3d3f3bcb99aa.jpgStaggering statistics about teen drinking – and laws jailing adults for providing alcohol to minors – should be a wake-up call for parents.

By: Suzette Valle

New Year’s celebrations always bring the issue of drinking to mind. Sadly, it’s not the optimism inspired by a fresh start that will mark 2012’s first news reports, but the tragedy involving deaths of teenagers due to underage drinking.

A study by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that an “estimated 1,980 underage-drinking related emergency visits were made on Jan. 1, 2009.” This is a staggering number when compared to the national average of 546 intoxicated-minor ER visits per day.

The Alcohol Policy Panel of San Diego reported that in 2008 there were 105 fatal collisions involving 15 to 20 year olds who had been drinking. All of them were preventable.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America and MetLife Foundation reported “alarming patterns in early adolescent alcohol” use in 2010. According to the study:

• Of those teens who reported alcohol use, 62 percent said they had their first full alcoholic drink by age 15, not including sipping or tasting alcohol.

• Of those teens who reported alcohol use, 25 percent, said they drank a full alcoholic drink for the first time by age 12 or younger.

Continue Reading: patch.com