Underage Drinking

Alcopops Remain a Danger for Young Drinkers

Supersized alcopops pose unique risks to young drinkers, despite new serving size labels mandated by the Federal Trade Commission, according to two new research studies. Supersized alcopops--such as Four Loko--are sugar-sweetened beverages with as much as 14 percent alcohol-by-volume (abv) or 5.5 standard alcoholic drinks in one 23.5 oz. can.

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Late Teen Drinking Can Lead to Liver Problems

Alcohol is the leading cause of liver cirrhosis and liver-related deaths. Results of a large long-term study in Sweden have confirmed that drinking during late adolescence could be the first step towards liver problems in adulthood and that guidelines for safe alcohol intake in men might have to be revised downwards, reports the Journal of Hepatology.

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Early Alcohol Use Spells Later Trouble

An early age at first drink (AFD) has been linked to later alcohol-related problems, which is one of the reasons behind the legal drinking age of 21 in the U.S. It is unclear, however, if increased risk is primarily due to initiation of any drinking, or initiation of heavier drinking. A comparison of the influence of these potential risk factors among college undergraduates found that both an early AFD as well as a quick progression from the first drink to drinking to intoxication independently predicted later problems.

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Ads Play Role in Underage Drinking

Minors who were familiar with television alcohol advertisements were more likely to have tried alcoholic beverages and binge drink than those who could not recall seeing such ads, according to a study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston.

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Adult-supervised Teen Drinking Can Backfire

Allowing adolescents to drink alcohol under adult supervision does not appear to teach responsible drinking as teens get older. In fact, such a "harm-minimization" approach may actually lead to more drinking and alcohol-related consequences, according to a study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

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Many Kids Get Their Alcohol at Home

A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that 5.9 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 14 drank alcohol in the past month and that the vast majority of them (93.4 percent) received their alcohol for free the last time they drank.

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Watching R-Rated Movies Linked to Early Drinking

Middle-school children whose parents restrict access to R-rated movies are substantially less likely to start drinking than their peers who are allowed to see such films, a new study suggests. In a study of nearly 3,600 New England middle school students, researchers found that among kids who said their parents never allowed them to watch R movies, few took up drinking over the next couple years.

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Adolescent Drinking Adds to Breast Cancer Risk

Girls and young women who drink alcohol increase their risk of benign (noncancerous) breast disease, says a study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Harvard University. Benign breast disease increases the risk for developing breast cancer.

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