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Monday, December 27, 2010

The Role that Parents' Play in Teen Drinking

Our book is featured on NPR Morning Edition today - thank you Allison Aubrey.

Here's the beginning of the story -

For teenagers, friends play a big role in the decision to take that first drink. And by the 12th grade, more than 65 percent of teens have at least experimented with alcohol. But what parents do during the high school years can also influence whether teens go on to binge drink or abuse alcohol. Researchers at Brigham Young University have found that teenagers who grow up with parents who are either too strict or too indulgent tend to binge drink more than their peers. . . Go to the link for more.


The Role of Parents in Teen Drinking

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Binge Drinking Can Cause Alcohol Poisoning - What to Watch For

Even though you may think someone who is drunk is “sleeping it off,” alcohol levels in the blood can continue to rise. High levels of alcohol can cause alcohol poisoning which can affect breathing, heart rate and the gag reflex. If the gag reflex is impaired, a person can choke on vomit or accidentally inhale it into the lungs, with a risk of causing coma and even death.

Signs of alcohol poisoning include:

·         Slow breathing, or less than eight breaths a minute
·         Irregular breathing, or a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths
·         [el1] Blue-tinged skin or pale skin       
·         Confusion or stupor
·         Low body temperature, also called hypothermia
·         Unconcious and can't be awakened.

If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, call 911 immediately. If someone who was binge drinking is conscious but confused or incoherent call poison control. Never leave an unconscious person alone

Here's a video you can show your kids: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E_T_NQjJDo

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Can Lowering the Drinking Age Stop Binge Drinking - Did it Before?

A new study has challenged the theory that lowering the minimum legal drinking age would help curb binge drinking on campuses.

Richard A. Scribner, of the Louisiana State University School of Public Health, one of the researchers on the new study, and colleagues used a mathematical model to estimate the effects that a lower drinking age would have on college binge drinking.

The model, developed based on survey data from students at 32 U.S. colleges, aimed to evaluate the "misperception effect" emphasized by the Amethyst Initiative - that is, the idea that underage students widely perceive "normal" drinking levels to be higher than they actually are

The researchers concluded that the campuses that were most likely to see a decline in binge drinking from a lowered legal drinking age were those that had the poorest enforcement of underage drinking laws - being surrounded, for instance, by bars that do not check identification - and a significant level of student misperception of 'normal' drinking.

Wouldn't it be simpler to just look back to what happened when the drinking age was 18? I realize the world was a different place now but legal drinking at 18 didn't stop anyone I knew from drinking everything in sight and then some. I mean really. College kids binge drink - I personally don't think it has anything to do with the drinking age. It has to do with college culture which is centered around drinking in so many ways it's ridiculous.

I was just reading the Facebook page of a friend's daughter who is living in London. The drinking age there is 18. Many of the posts - not by her fortunately - are about going out and getting wasted. Does she have 5-6 drinks in an hour? She's doing in fine in school. It's culture and the only way to change it is change culture. I am not sure anyone has figured out how to do that.

Here's a link to the study: http://news.oneindia.in/2010/12/11/loweringthe-drinking-age-wont-curb-binge-drinkingstudy.html

Friday, December 3, 2010

Forget Four Locos - Here's the Newest Way Manufacturers Try to Get our Teens Drunk

Spiked whipped cream? This is not a joke.

One of the less known facts about the science of how alcohol affects teen bodies is that kids prefer sweeter drinks that mask the taste of alcohol. The sugar in those drinks mixed with the alcohol can be a deadly combination. Liquor manufacturers have recently launched a new product that teens will love - and can put on top of the sweeter drinks to make them even more alcoholic. Read on. 

Just as products that combine alcohol and caffeine like Four Locos are coming off the market, a new, sweeter with a cherry on top version is starting to appear on supermarket shelves. Called Whipped Lightning (pardon me if I skip the trademark symbol), it's the world's first alcohol infused whipped cream.

Reports are the spiked whipped cream is on sale in IN, MA, HI, OH, and other states. The whipped cream comes in sweet flavors such as hazelnut espresso and chocolate which completely disguise the taste of alcohol. Students are putting Whipped Lightening on top of jello shots and other mixed drinks as well as just eating it right out of the canister.

The whipped cream is 15% alcohol, or 30 proof.

Here are links to a couple of articles.