There's an article in the paper today about binge drinking among underage Oregon teens, and the problem is very bad. According to a recent survey of Oregon 11th graders, we have a problem:
- Almost half of Oregon's 11th-graders said they drank alcohol in the previous month.
- Nearly 30 percent of eighth-graders said they drank in the previous month, according to the same survey.
- Oregon eighth-graders are 76 percent more likely than the U.S. average to drink alcohol.
- Eighth-grade girls now drink more than 8th-grade boys.
- More than 10 percent of eighth-graders taking a 2007 national survey said they downed at least five alcoholic drinks in a sitting in the previous week. That rose to nearly 22 percent of 10th-graders and 26 percent of 12th-graders.
We can also get active in supporting efforts like these:
Health officials and nonprofits have launched a host of efforts to warn kids and parents about the risks of binge drinking. In November, a task force presented Gov. Ted Kulongoski a five-year plan to fight underage drinking in Oregon, which called for more than $15 million in efforts, including programs to prevent youth drinking and addiction treatment.What Oregon needs is a healthy culture of moderation, not an abstinence and binge cycle. I have always felt that Oregon craft breweries contributed to a healthy orientation toward drink, but obviously, there's work to do. This is a problem we all need to address.