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Study: Not rare for fourth-graders to try alcohol

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by csds703, Sep 1, 2007.

  1. csds703

    csds703 Former Member

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    The roots of alcoholism begin early in life, experts have found in a study that reveals experimentation with the hard stuff can commence as early as the fourth grade.

    Analyzing surveys of children in 39 states over a 15-year period, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found what they called alarming trends: 10 percent of fourth-graders have already had more than a sip of alcohol and 7 percent have had a full adult-size drink. Beverages ranged from beer, wine and wine coolers to stronger spirits. The study examined surveys of childhood alcohol use from 1990 through 2005.

    Most children who try alcohol usually take their first sip - or belt down a full drink - between fifth and sixth grades, associate professor of psychiatry and epidemiology John Donovan found. The surveys he analyzed involved children who admitted consuming at least one drink in the past year. Each yearly survey involved responses from 26,000 to 39,000 children."I don't think that children need to be enticed to try alcohol," Donovan said. But, he said, role models abound.

    "Sixty-five percent of adults in this country are drinkers and many prime-time television programs have images of drinking. Magazines are filled with ads of alcoholic beverages."

    Most studies, Donovan said, focus on college-age students and the phenomenon of binge drinking. But alcohol consumption, he contends, doesn't start at age 18. Early drinking, he said, increases the chances of alcoholism. He also said early exposure to beer and spirits results in problems such as violence, teenage pregnancies and car accidents.

    Donovan said some parents trigger their children's interest in alcoholic beverages. "I think sometimes parents offer alcohol to children, a sip or a drink. Or, alcohol may be around after an adult party. In some instances, kids may be given a sip on New Year's Eve. Frankly, parents ought not offer it and they should make sure that alcohol is not readily accessible to children."

    http://www.newsday.com/news/health/ny-hsalc315353259aug31,0,4916404,full.story
     
  2. KrisNine

    KrisNine New Member

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    When I was a kid I would always ask for (and get) a sip of beer from my grandparents. Sometimes even a sip of wine from my mom. I also remember getting champagne on New Years Eve.

    It probably wasn't a great idea, but I have very little interest in alcohol these days. Of course, when I was 21 it was a different story.
     
  3. englishleigh

    englishleigh Authentic Southern Belle

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    Catholic kids get a sip of wine at Holy Communion from about age 7 on.
     
  4. Marthatex

    Marthatex New Member

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    I think some parents are too blase' about keeping the liquor cabinet unlocked, not dreaming that littly Johnny or the friends well decide to try some.

    4th grade shocks me, though. There is a natural curiosity to try it for kids, especially since they see parents and relatives drink it and then "get so happy" LOL, even if not drunk. And of course its in the movies, TV, ads, etc.

    In some countries like Germany they let the kids sip wine, etc.; they just don't make a big deal out of it or make it illegal. I wonder if it weren't taboo or against the law when they are 18 and college; if there would not be so much BINGING, and surreptitious drinking.

    I think parents just need to be aware and have hard talks with the kids about the dangers of drinking too young, drinking too much, and driving while drunk. It's just rampant here.
     
  5. Penelope631

    Penelope631 Former Member

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    Hmmmm..What have I missed?:waitasec:

    I am Catholic and I never received wine at Holy Communion.
     
  6. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    There was an interesting article in PARADE, I think, several weeks ago about how raising the drinking age to 21 has led to the binge drinking epedemic we seem to be seeing amoung college student. It made some excellent points.
     
  7. KrisNine

    KrisNine New Member

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    I read the article on line on CNN or MSNBC. You're right, there were excellent points.
     
  8. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    I'm not a drinker myself and my drinking family history was not what anyone would call healthy, but I've long thought that our 21-year-old drinking age is a hindrance to responsible drinking. You can go die in a war or help elect a President at 18, but you can't have a cocktail?:waitasec: Please....
     
  9. csds703

    csds703 Former Member

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    When I went to college the drinking age was 18. I can tell you that binge drinking was just as rampant back then.
     
  10. csds703

    csds703 Former Member

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    I think it's important to to keep the conversations real about alcohol. I have always tried to be a good role model. I am not really a big drinker, but do enjoy a cocktail once in awhile. I have always tried to let the kids know that being sloppy drunk or drinking and driving is wrong.

    Back on topic though, fourth grade seems a little young and surprised me. Those kids are only 9 and 10. My kids were still heavily supervised at that age.
     
  11. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    The drinking age was also 18 when I went to college and there was definitely binge drinking then as well. I think that's part of the nature of being away from home and free for the first time as an adult.

    But I do feel like it's more of a problem nowadays and there seem to be more deaths as a result. In the PARADE article, students talked about getting as loaded as possible in their dorm rooms before going out to bars that wouldn't serve them. I think they would be more likely to spread their drinking out and do it more responsibly if they could get served at 18.
     
  12. csds703

    csds703 Former Member

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    We drank before going out because we were poor college kids and drinking at bars was expensive. LOL.
    I had a friend who died from hazing back then. Believe me when I tell you that we drank just as much as kids do today. I have also seen articles about the fact that binge drinking is very common up until the late twenties.
    There is also a big thing with kids doing 21 shots on their 21st birthday.
    These are the things that need to be discussed with young people. Like I've told my daughter, who just left for college, there is a big difference between being tipsy and being sloppy drunk. Nobody is attractive tripping over themselves or puking in the corner.
     
  13. Marthatex

    Marthatex New Member

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    Well I "experimented" when I was in 8th grade in a friends liquor cabinet and I think we got a little tipsy. I DON'T THINK THE PARENTS WERE HOME.

    But I don't recall drinking again until college. We didn't drink that much, but just when it was served at fraternity parties. I don't remember what the drinking age was then, but I remember getting very drunk at 2 fraternity parties. I guess thats not too bad for 4 years of college. I didn't have a car, so I never drove drunk. I remember being very embarrassed by how I acted at the 2nds party where I was drunk, and once I got married we didn't drink at all - couldn't afford it.

    I guess most everyone experiments and makes a fool of themselves during college or even high school (I didn't drink then); and hopefully you realize what an idiot you look like drunk.

    I think they drink alot more now illicitly in High School, but now parents have formed with other parents to have "alcohol free" safe homes for the high schoolers. And parties when they graduate that are supervised so they don't get out and kill themselves THAT night anyway.
     
  14. Peter Hamilton

    Peter Hamilton New Member

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    4th grade is very surprising indeed--None of us touched alcohol unti our freshman year in high school
     
  15. englishleigh

    englishleigh Authentic Southern Belle

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    Not sure...but my kids all have made First Communion on the past several years and they all had the Blood at their First Communion and now every week at Mass...just a sip...but still, it's alcohol. Now when I have a glass of wine at home in the evening, they want a sip but I tell them, "only at Mass." I tell them what I'm drinking isn't Jesus' blood so they cannot have any.
     
  16. JanetElaine

    JanetElaine Well-Known Member

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    :eek: My fourthgrader won't even drink anything carbonated because it's 'gross'.
     
  17. SeriouslySearching

    SeriouslySearching Active Member

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    If people didn't make things so "taboo" to children...they wouldn't think it was so enticing. Italian families have the right idea, IMO. They don't raise raging alcoholics yet they allow their young to sip wine at dinner and on occassions. They simply don't make it a big deal. If you tell a child something is "off limits" in such a way they feel they are getting away with it...it quickly becomes an issue in rebellion.

    My kids were raised around alcohol at parties, celebrations, political functions, etc. None of them drink beyond control. They NEVER drink and drive nor do they allow their friends to do so. I never made a big deal of it and they never felt the need to go overboard.

    They also know my rules on having a DD or taking a cab. My friends and I are always responsible when going out even if we are only having a glass of wine with dinner! Better safe than sorry.
     
  18. philamena

    philamena Former Member

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    Sorry, but I'm not buying it. I just don't believe that 4th graders try alcohol. At that age, children are still very close to their parents and I don't think a 10-11 yr old has to nerve nor desire to drink.
     
  19. mostlylurking

    mostlylurking New Member

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    You just haven't seen it. I was 8 or so when I got to start having sips of beer. It was icky, but it was grown up & I wanted more. I thought Shirley Temples were a drink out with the family. It was 7th grade when drinking became about getting wasted, not sipping what was being allowed at 8.

    My now 22 year old little brother (20 yrs younger than me), told me of how at 8 he would take a warm beer & put it at the back of the fridge so that he could take a cold one from the front.

    I'm 12 1/2 yrs sober now. I have already started having the conversations with my 3. Not the "don't you dare try it" stuff, but the experience I've had -- at a level that little guys can understand. I am full well braced for what alcoholism & its effects on my family may have in store...

    Also, at 18, drinking beer was legal. Liquor was 21. When I was 19, that changed to 21 for everything. I absolutely believed my rights had been taken away & used all the arguments that SS mentioned up above. Ended up getting a fake ID & just going at it anyway..... no descriptions needed. Just let your imaginations take it away.....
     
  20. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    I was drinking regularly at that age - 10-11, and I was in 6th/7th grade. Of course, I'm an alcoholic so that might not be typical for all, but I think it is typical for those of us who might go on to become problem drinkers. My husband - also an addict - started drinking and using drugs at age 10 and I've heard many AA/NA stories over the years that start with people taking their first taste of alcohol at around the 10/11 mark.
     

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