FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 30, 2008
Look where some teens get alcoholic drinks
Young readers may see mixed messages in ads or photos about drinking, smoking and other adult activities. Look for or recall examples. Talk about the newspaper's role in this tricky area.
Find other health, personal safety or medical news. Read a report that could be useful for you or someone you know. What did you learn?
The paper is full of local diversions for readers of all ages. How many summer activities appropriate for those under 21 can you spot in news columns and ads?
Underage drinking, a persistent health and safety issue, is the focus of a new federal report with eye-opening news. More than half of U.S. teens say they've consumed alcohol, and many sometimes get free beer or booze from adults - including their parents.
Among the country's estimated 10.8 million drinkers under 21, more than 40 percent said they got alcoholic beverages from an adult during the month before they answered survey questions. Of those, about one in four said they got drinks from an unrelated adult, one in 16 relied on a parent or guardian, and one in 12 got the alcohol from a family member. The government study, issued last week, is based on a scientific random sample of 158,000 people aged 12 to 20.
Underage drinking is responsible for more than 5,000 deaths of Americans under 21 each year, the report says. In response, 24 states and more than 100 cities have adopted "social host" laws that make parents and anyone else over 21 responsible for underage drinking at their home. Violators can be fined, forced to pay for police costs that result from underage drinking or even jailed.
Health official says: "In far too many instances, parents directly enable their children's underage drinking -- in essence encouraging them to risk their health and well-being." -- Dr. Steven K. Galson, acting U.S. surgeon general
Researcher says: "We have a good picture of the problem, but no clearly established solution." -- Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine
MADD says: "Adults should be held accountable for providing alcohol to those under 21. . . . Parents and adult caregivers are the key to preventing underage drinking." - Survey reaction from Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Front Page Talking Points Archive