Parents who give their children alcohol increase the risk that they will binge drink in their teenage years, an Australian study has found.
There is no evidence to support the view that parents who give their children alcohol are reducing the risk of binge drinking or alcohol-related harms in their teenage years, found the study involving just under 2000 adolescents between 12 and 18 years old.
There is no evidence to support the view that parents who give their children alcohol are reducing the risk of binge drinking or alcohol-related harms in their teenage years.
Teenagers whose parents allow them to drink are twice as likely to access alcohol through other sources and engage in binge drinking, the researchers reported on Friday in Lancet Public Health.
Teenagers given alcohol by their parents were 95 per cent more likely to binge drink – more than four standard drinks in one sitting – in the future than those who had found another way to score a drink.
"This reinforces the fact that alcohol consumption leads to harm, no matter how it is supplied," said lead author Professor Richard Mattick, a drug and alcohol dependency and behaviour expert at UNSW. "We advise that parents should avoid supplying alcohol to their teenagers if they wish to reduce their risk of alcohol-related harms."
Today's teenagers are turning their backs on Australia's excessive drinking culture, and shunning other drugs, in a change that has been dubbed a modern "youth revolution".
A study involving more than 41,000 Australian adolescents (average age 13.5) has observed a staggering drop in rates of teen alcohol consumption and smoking since 1999
At the turn of the century, almost 70 per cent of surveyed teenagers had already drunk alcohol. By 2015, that figure that dropped to 45 per cent, meaning high school students abstaining from alcohol are now in the majority.
An author of the study, Professor John Toumbourou, said while the adult population were also showing signs of moderating their alcohol consumption, it did not compare to the sharp trend within the secondary school population.
"They are making changes that are much more dramatic to other age groups," said Professor Toumbourou, chair in health psychology at Deakin University.
"It's a new, youth-led revolution."
This Blue Monday new Drinkaware research shows that a large proportion of people who drink alcohol do so to forget their problems, cheer themselves up when in a bad mood and because it helps when they feel depressed or nervous. New research reveals that almost three in five (58%) of all people (aged 18-75) who drink alcohol are doing so because it helps them to cope with the pressures of day to day life.
The data also reveals that this trend is roughly equal for both men and women and is seen across all age ranges to varying degrees. However, people in lower social grades, who are more likely to be experiencing financial and housing worries, are drinking to forget their problems or when they are depressed or nervous, at a significantly higher rate.
The harms associated with alcohol are equivalent to, or greater than, those for illicit drugs.
Examples of these harms include:
(Introduction: NATIONAL ALCOHOL STRATEGY 2018–2026)
Acetaldehyde and blood stem cells
Following the analysis, the researchers found that acetaldehyde could, in fact, damage and break DNA within blood stem cells. Chromosomes became rearranged, and the DNA sequence was permanently changed in stem cells. Lead study author Prof. Ketan Patel says, "Some cancers develop due to DNA damage in stem cells. While some damage occurs by chance, our findings suggest that drinking alcohol can increase the risk of this damage."