Underage drinking is a problem throughout the year, but during the holidays, experts say there is a definitive spike in the number of kids who binge drink and find themselves in the hospital’s emergency room.
Recently, a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration was released that deemed New Year’s Day one of the most dangerous times of the year for underage drinking. In 2009, more than 1,980 emergency room visits were recorded involving minors who consumed an intoxicating amount of alcohol. This is a 263 percent increase from the 546 emergency room cases that were typically recorded on an average day throughout the year.
Memorial Day and Independence Day also have notable high levels of underage drinking, but still rank well below the average recorded on New Year’s Day.
Experts who conducted the study believe that the findings should be a wake-up call to parents, school officials and administrative professionals.
Nearly 28 percent of individuals between ages 12 and 20 admitted to consuming alcohol in 2008, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Adults have the power to positively influence the lives of children through mentoring and explaining the dangers of alcohol.