Teen Alcohol Use Prevalent in New Harry Potter Movie

A recent New York Times article indicated that alcohol use among teenagers is highly prevalent in the latest Harry Potter movie. The Times reports that “young wizards and their adult professors are seen sipping, gulping and pouring various forms of alcohol to calm their nerves, fortify their courage or comfort their sorrows.”

You can view the NYTimes article mentioned at this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/28/health/28well.html?_r=1

j0396155Alcohol has been tried by 39% of current 8th graders, 62% of 10th graders, 72% of 12th graders, and 83% of college students; active use is also widespread. Most important, perhaps, is the prevalence of occasions of heavy drinking—five or more drinks in a row at least once in the prior two-week period—which was reported by 10% of 8th graders, 22% of 10th graders, 26% of 12th graders, and 41% of college students surveyed in 2007. Heavy drinking peaks in the early 20s, and recedes with age after that, reflected by the 38% rate found in the entire young adult sample and the 28% rate found among 29- to 30-year-olds. (Monitoring the future: National survey results on drug use, 1975-2007. Volume I: Secondary school students 2007 (NIH Publication No. 08-6418A). Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse.)

Regardless of whether you believe that movies and other media have a strong influence on an individual teenager’s own decision to use alcohol, the new Harry Potter movie offers an opportunity for parents to talk to their kids about alcohol and reinforce their own values. Studies consistently show that our children are influenced by their parents.

If you need more information about teen alcohol use or talking to your teen, here are some resources:

Online Guide for Talking to Kids About Alcohol

National Al-Anon/Alateen
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday
New Jersey Al-Anon/ Alateen Info

Alcohol Hotline

New Jersey Drug Hotline

The National Alcohol and Substance Abuse Information Center
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service
800-662-HELP (4357)
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

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