Many young people get alcohol from their parents

Many young people get alcohol from their parents

Adolescents who easily get alcohol through their parents are at increased risk of “binge drinking”
Many adolescents start drinking alcohol early on. They usually think of parents and friends first to get wine, beer and spirits. Rarely do teenagers consider buying alcohol at the supermarket. This was the result of a study by the Kiel Institute for Therapy and Health Research on behalf of the health insurance company DAK-Gesundheit. According to this, adolescents who easily get alcoholic beverages through their parents are at higher risk for the so-called "binge drinking" than teenagers who have little access to alcohol. "Almost every second student between the ages of 10 and 16, according to their own statements, has 'easy' or 'very easy' access to beer and wine," says the health insurance company.

Only eleven percent of young people buy alcohol in the supermarket
The researchers surveyed 1,167 children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 16 from Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Brandenburg three times over a period of more than two years about their drinking habits and the availability of alcohol. The result: "Children and adolescents with alcohol experience named parents (66 percent) and friends (50 percent) as the most common source of supply," the health insurance company said. Eleven percent of the students said they bought alcohol in the supermarket. "Our study shows for the first time the strong connection between the availability and consumption of alcohol," explains Prof. Reiner Hanewinkel, director of studies at IFT-Nord. “This result is interesting for prevention. In the fight against alcohol abuse, the role model function of the parents takes on a new role. ”

At the time of the first survey in 2008, the adolescents stated that they had never drunk five or more alcoholic drinks in a row. According to search experts, this is the amount that is used as a criterion for “binge drinking”. In 2011, more than 43 percent of students said they had had at least five glasses of beer, wine, or other alcoholic drink on one occasion.

Easy availability increases the risk of intoxication
Just under half of the children and young people surveyed stated that they would get "fairly easy" (35 percent) or "very easy" (13.8 percent) beer or wine. At the end of the study, 43.3 percent of the students said they had consumed five or more alcoholic beverages at least once. "Our investigation shows that easy availability is a risk factor for binge drinking," emphasizes Hanewinkel. With easier access to alcohol, the risk of “binge drinking” for the first time is 26 percent higher than in the comparison group, who have little or no access to alcohol. This difference in alcohol consumption is significant.

65 adolescent alcohol victims in the hospital every day
"Every day, 65 children and adolescents with alcohol poisoning end up in the hospital nationwide," emphasizes Ralf Kremer, addiction expert at DAK-Gesundheit. In order to stop the ongoing trend of “binge drinking”, the availability of alcoholic beverages in adolescence must be reduced from the point of view of prevention. The consistent enforcement of the youth protection law is required, according to which no alcohol may be sold to under 16 year olds. It also makes sense to reduce the availability of beer, wine and high-proof alcohol through the social environment such as parents, siblings and friends.

The study also shows that teenagers who get alcohol easily through their parents or friends were 26 percent more likely to have a coma drink than their peers who had difficulty getting alcohol. "Our investigation shows that easy availability is a risk factor for binge drinking," emphasizes Hanewinkel.

65 children have to be treated in hospital every day for alcohol poisoning
Six years ago, the DAK-Gesundheit and the Kiel Institute for Therapy and Health Research launched an education campaign against alcohol abuse among young people under the motto "colorful instead of blue - art against binge drinking".

"Every day 65 children and adolescents with alcohol poisoning end up in the hospital nationwide," reports Ralf Kremer, addiction expert at DAK-Gesundheit. From the point of view of prevention, the availability of alcohol in adolescence must be reduced and the youth protection law enforced, according to which no alcohol may be sold to under 16-year-olds. The social environment - parents, siblings and friends - should also help to reduce the availability of alcoholic beverages, says Kremer. (ag)

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