Mercury News: Binge Drinking Up Among CA Teens

Over the weekend, Linda Goldston of the San Jose Mercury News reported on the rising trends in binge drinking and alcohol-related deaths among teens in California. She profiled a local teen who recently passed away after a night of heavy drinking, and used that incident to shed light on the larger toxic drinking culture. According to some local prevention officials, drinking among young people has become goal-oriented, which often leads to dangerous outcomes:

“Hard liquor has replaced beer as the alcohol that teens reach for, and vodka is the drink of choice, several experts said. By consuming some of the many sweet drinks with vodka aimed at the youth market, or mixing vodka with cola or orange juice, young drinkers can consume large amounts without tasting the alcohol.”

Statistics from the California Department of Public Health show that both binge drinking and alcohol poisoning deaths are still trending upward despite some declines in recent years:

Check out the rest of the article and leave your feedback in the comments section.

4 Responses to “Mercury News: Binge Drinking Up Among CA Teens”

  1. Edwin Says:

    Those aged 18-20 are not “teens”. The drinking age must be lowered to 18 along with an alcohol education program. Even if that solution is implemented, it will won’t help reduce binge drinking by girls and boys who are 16 or under. It’s unfortunate that binge drinking has become more popular but with alcohol responsibility instilled in young women and young men, binge drinking will be dropped in favor of responsibility. Reasonable and nonageist measures must be taken to decrease binge drinking.

  2. Ajax the Great Says:

    You can always count on California to be a trendsetter for the nation, for good or ill.

  3. Ajax the Great Says:

    Remember that these ugly trends occurred at a time when several cities and counties (such as San Diego) passed social host laws that criminalize even allowing 18-20 year old guests to drink on one’s property, even if they brought their own. Such laws are clearly a Trojan horse. Massachusetts passed a very broad social host law in 2000, and both alcohol-related deaths and traffic fatalities among people under 21 actually rose significantly from 1999-2003.

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