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A Summer of Drinking: Alcohol’s Effect on the Teen Mind

By HERWriter
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drinking alcohol in the summer can affect teenage minds MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

Holidays like the Fourth of July are usually characterized by drinking and socializing with friends and family. It’s nice to let loose and enjoy some fireworks after working hard the rest of the year. A new study from Caron Treatment Centers shows just how much Americans love to drink, for better or worse.

The Caron survey found that 83 percent of Americans think Independence Day is the summer holiday where people drink the most.

And while excessive drinking in adults is harmful enough, these toxic behaviors are also hurting adolescents during the summer. The survey showed that 61 percent believe summertime is the time of year where teens are prone to drink the most alcohol.

The results come from an online survey conducted by Harris Interactive in partnership with Caron. Survey respondents were 848 Americans ages 18-40.

The research results demonstrated a widespread problem with underage drinking in the United States.

The survey found that 78 percent of participants tried alcohol for the first time when they were under 21. Some participants (10 percent) even had alcohol before they were age 12!

And most parents are okay with their kids breaking the law. Only 40 percent stated that their parents absolutely had no tolerance for underage drinking.

Adults appear to have mixed attitudes toward underage drinking. While 63 percent are concerned that alcohol is available to teenagers, 41 percent think teens should “learn to ‘drink responsibly’ in high-school rather than waiting until they’re of legal age,” according to the survey.

And perhaps teens are learning that underage drinking is acceptable from their parents. Seventy percent of adults remember seeing an adult or caregiver “engaging in inappropriate behavior while under the influence of alcohol,” such as drunk driving.

About 31 percent of respondents stated their parents were okay with underage drinking, and 29 percent of participants were fine with high school students drinking as long as they don’t drive.

Despite the widespread tolerance of underage drinking in our society, drinking can have harmful effects on the minds of teens.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.