By Staff Writer
Underage binge drinking may generally be thought of as a problem that affects cities and towns, but new research shows that that just as many teens in rural parts of the country drink excessively. The findings may help public health officials know where to direct their addiction prevention and substance abuse help programs.
Researchers from the University of Erlangen in Germany surveyed more than 44,000 teens who were between the ages of 15 and 16 about their alcohol use. Of the participants who admitted to drinking alcohol, 78 percent from rural areas and 74 percent from urban areas admitted to binge drinking.
The researchers said that their findings contradict the commonly accepted belief that city-dwelling teenagers are more likely to binge drink than those from the countryside. They added that awareness of the problem needs to be raised among these communities.
Binge drinking during adolescence can interfere with school performance, increase the number of drunk driving accidents, lead to unsafe sexual behavior and damage vital parts of teenagers’ still-developing brains. Young people may benefit from seeking treatment from drug rehab facilities if these problems get out of hand.