Are teens who drink more popular with their peers? Dr. Bill tells us about a troubling new report Show Notes

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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Are kids who drink more popular? It appears that way.

According to a story on PluggedIn.com, teens who consume alcohol have more friends than those who don't.

A new study from the federal government has found that kids who drink have higher "social connectedness" than their more sober peers.  And believe or not, getting drunk can increase teens' social standing even more.

The researchers note that underage drinking "is linked to a long list of adverse health and behavioral consequences."  But when it comes to increasing their social standing, many teens appear to care less

The key to reversing these trends is parents, as previous studies have shown that moms and dads can be instrumental in steering their children away from drugs and alcohol.

Joseph Allen of the University of Virginia says "If we don't engage with teens—by getting them involved in volunteer service, encouraging their participation in civic activities, and just talking to them—then we can't be too surprised when their values are largely those that appear in the online and popular media

Another new study focused on teens and marijuana, and it found that teens who've never tried pot before are more likely to do so when it’s legalized--as it already in Colorado and Washington.

Researchers found that even some so called “low-risk” high school seniors—those who've never used pot, have a strong moral background and don't have marijuana-using friends—would try the drug if it was legal.

By the way, according to the latest stats, 45% of seniors say they've used marijuana in the past.  

For solid advice on keeping your kids from using drugs or engaging in underage drinking, go to drugfree.org.

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.
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