National polls show teens getting alcohol from parents

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:52

    Two new surveys commissioned by the American Medical Association (AMA) demonstrate that many teens obtain alcohol provided by parents. The surveys questioned 701 teens ages 13 to 18 and 2,283 adults of whom 394 were parents of children ages 12 to 20. In the teen survey, 24 percent of the teens said their parents had given them alcohol, 21 percent say they had been to a party where teens drank alcohol supplied by parents, and 27 percent had been to a party where teens were drinking with parents present. Girls were more likely than boys to obtain alcohol illegally and also more likely than boys to get alcohol from parents, including from parents of friends. In the adult survey, 25 percent of the parents of children ages 12 to 20 had allowed their children to drink alcohol under their supervision in the past six months. "While it is of great concern to see how easily teens, especially young girls, get alcohol," said J. Edward Hill, M.D., president of the AMA, "it is alarming to know that legal-age adults, even parents, are supplying the alcohol." In light of the AMA results, the Marin Institute is calling for a nationwide, community-based response. Mark Pertschuk, executive director, said: "The alcohol industry spends billions of dollars marketing its products to young people, but puts the responsibility on parents to keep alcohol from kids. The industry's prevention programs are mostly PR ploys. Telling kids not to drink, or asking parents to do their part, isn't enough." Marin's new guide, "Solutions to Community Alcohol Problems," can be found at the Marin Web site (