More than 4 million American children aged 12 to 17 consume alcohol each month, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use. Read More
The problem is not the alcohol. It is the relationship of alcohol to life. In France, I've been at many dinner tables where teens drink wine along with their parents. I favor that approach here. Don't you? Or are you of the belief that the teen body cannot handle any amount of alcohol, even under an adult's supervision?
Certainly, cultural attitudes toward drinking matter. One of the issues with alcohol consumption by teens in the US is that it is illegal -- so you're talking about most teen drinking being done by teens without adult supervision. This leads to binge drinking and the negative consequences that go with that. In other countries, where norms and situations are different, different habits develop.
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Constance Scharff, Ph.D. is the Senior Addiction Research Fellow and Director of Addiction Research at Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center.
When and how should we open up to loved ones?