One in 25 Middle Schoolers Binge Drink

At first this didn't sound so shocking to me: 1 in 25 middle schoolers are binge drinkers.  Maybe because mine's a computer nerd.

But then I got to thinking about it. True, the stats come from Canada, but could they be much different in this country?  A whopping 4% of kids 12 to 14 consumed five or more drinks on more than one occasion, according to a new study, reports.

The findings also indicated that the odds of binge drinking were twice as high among youth with three or more chronic conditions.
"We are particularly concerned that the young adolescents most likely to binge drink are those who have substantial physical health challenges” the Web site quotes lead author Esme Fuller-Thomson, Sandra Rotman Chair at the University of Toronto’s Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. 
"We also found that youth with mood disorders had three times the odds of binge drinking," adds co-author Matthew Sheridan, a manager at a children’s mental health centre. “This should signal that mental health is an important factor to consider in targeting outreach for binge drinking prevention and cessation programs.”
So what if the kids get a little giggly and goofy from drinking too much?  But it's a big deal.  The Web site points out it's an important risk factor for alcohol-related injuries, accidental death, unsafe sexual behavior, and long-term substance abuse problems.
The study didn't go beyond age 14 but it's a safe bet some of those kids will go on to become alcoholics or drug addicts or criminals to support their habits.  This is clearly not a problem that will go away by itself, and may be setting kids up for years of damage and failure, and maybe even death.


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