Boozing Teens?


The Cincy Enquirer reruns a snippet from a Detroit Free Press editorial:

Ah spring, when a young person's fancy turns to thoughts of … booze.

Despite all the warnings, it happens every year; a prom or party or graduation night ends in an alcohol-fueled tragedy. Maybe the victim is the "good kid" who just wanted to see what it was like, or the innocent bystander caught in the path of a young drunk feeling the need for speed. There's a lesson every time, but too late for the kids involved to learn it.

It's a lesson that needs to be taught much sooner, before age 13, when experiments with alcohol often get started.

More here.

I can't imagine many things more devastating than losing a child in a drunk-driving accident. However, The Free Press, or at least the snippet excerpted in the Enquirer, fails to mention the highly relevant fact that significantly fewer teens drink now. According to the Monitoring the Future Survey, which has annually surveyed teenagers since the mid-1970s, the percentage of kids who have had a drink in the past 30 days has dropped by as much as 20 percentage points for high school seniors. More data here and here.