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Researchers: Teens more likely to consume alcohol when friends do

It is not uncommon for parents in Georgia to worry every now and then about whether their children are hanging out with the wrong crowd. No parent wants their child to be pressured by friends into doing something that he or she may not be comfortable with doing.

Although parents have to trust that their children will make the right decisions when hanging out with friends, parents still need to take an active approach with their kids in order to make sure their children are able to comfortably handle peer pressure if they do choose to hang out with friends who may not be very good influences.

According to an article that was recently published in the journal Pediatrics, teenagers and other individuals who are under the age of 21 are more likely to consume alcohol when a friend drinks alcohol. Parents may not be able to stop their kids from hanging out with friends who participate in underage drinking, but parents may be able to prevent their kids from being influenced by their peers who do consume or abuse alcohol.

Although some teens and college students -- and maybe even parents -- might not think that underage drinking is dangerous, the article that was published in the American Academy of Pediatrics' journal stated that teens are four times more likely to develop alcohol abuse problems when they consume their first alcoholic beverage before turning 15. And teens are more likely to consume their first alcoholic beverage at a young age when they have an underage friend who drinks or when they have a family member who does not drink responsibly in front of them.

Parents can't always prevent their children from participating in underage drinking, but they can inform their children about the consequences of underage drinking in Georgia as well as how to drink responsibly when they are old enough in order to avoid legal problems. If one's child does make a mistake and is charged with underage drinking or other alcohol-related offenses in Georgia, parents may want to consult an attorney in order to protect their child's rights and future as best as possible.

Source: The Boston Globe, "What's the biggest risk factor for underage drinking?" Dr. Claire McCarthy, Jan. 14, 2013

  • Our Athens, Georgia, firm provides counsel to those who have been charged with underage drinking and other alcohol-related offenses. To learn more about our firm and practice, please visit our firm's page on student offenses in Georgia.