By Dr. Brian McDonoughSponsored By Independence Blue Cross

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Several years ago, the Surgeon General of United States made a very important statement that is even more important now than it was at the time.

The Surgeon General said that American parents need to look extremely closely at alcohol abuse among our nation’s teenagers and to not turn a blind eye to their own children.

The statistics are startling.

It is estimated there are 11 million underage drinkers in the United States and more than 2/3 of them are binge drinkers.

A binge drinker is someone who has greater than five drinks in one sitting.

For teenagers, there are secondary effects of drinking that much.

Obviously one of the biggest concerns is drunk driving, but for many teens another issue is the potential for sexual abuse.

Judgment is impaired with alcohol abuse and it can lead to numerous issues.
The surgeon general’s point was to have a consistent communication with our children and make sure they understand the short-term and long-term effects of underage drinking.

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