This drug could block harmful impact of teen binge drinking

Alcohol-fueled parties might be seen as a rite of passage for many high school students, but they have an unexpected impact: binge-drinking behavior as teenagers can lead to problems with alcohol and other drug dependence later on in life.

That’s according to researchers from the University of Adelaide, who are making advances in an emerging field of research highlighting the importance of the brain’s immune system in our desire to drink alcohol.

The Adelaide researchers have made a discovery that may eventually help to switch off binge-drinking behavior in adults who used to binge during their adolescent years.

Full story at Science Daily

Family Structure Influences Whether Letting Teens Drink at Home Leads to Problems

A teen’s family structure influences whether allowing them to drink at home leads to alcohol problems later on, a new study suggests.

Teens living with both biological parents who were allowed to drink at home had the lowest levels of alcohol use and problems later on. Those living with either a single parent or in a blended family (such as a biological parent and a stepparent) who were allowed to drink at home had the highest levels of alcohol use and problems, according to The Boston Globe.

The study appears in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. It included 772 children ages 12 to 17, along with their parents. They were first interviewed in 1989, and were re-interviewed up to four times over the next 15 years. The researchers found being allowed to drink at home did not in itself predict later alcohol use, but family structure played a large role in moderating the relationship.

Full story of family structure impact on teen drinking at drugfree.org

Parents Teaching Teens “Responsible Drinking” is a Myth: Study

Parents who provide their teens with alcohol and a place to consume it may think they are teaching their children “responsible drinking.” A new review of studies concludes this view is misguided. Researchers found parental provision of alcohol is associated with increased teen alcohol use.

In some cases, parental provision of alcohol is also linked with increased heavy episodic drinking and higher rates of alcohol-related problems, the researchers report in the Journal Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

“We suspect there is a surprising amount of ‘social hosting’ going on—parents providing alcohol for their teens and their friends,” said study co-author Ken C. Winters, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical School. “Parents probably aren’t aware that social hosting could have criminal implications in some states if things take a bad turn. I can appreciate that social hosting is often done with good intentions. Parents think they are preventing something worse by having their kids drink at home with their friends. But the risks are great.”

Full story of responsible drinking among teens at drugfree.org