More Girls Than Ever Are Drinking, Says a New Study
Last week, I danced the night away at an outdoor concert in Brooklyn (the band was Further, a collaboration featuring two of the original members of the Grateful Dead). As I surveyed the crowd, I was amazed at how young the girls (and guys) were, many of them drinking–and doing drugs–openly.
Though I had a great time at the show, I kept getting distracted by the sight of these young girls and the fact that they were not much older than my own teenage daughter.
The scene provoked me to have a conversation with my nearly 17-year-old, during which I described what I saw. To my surprise–you never quite know what type of a reaction you’ll get from a teenager– she was surprisingly attentive and didn’t seem to mind that I was sharing my thoughts and observations about the concert and what I saw.
Only several days later, I came upon the findings of a new study by the Drug Abuse Warning Network, revealing that alcohol and drug abuse in young people has shifted from a decades-long decline to a significant increase in the past two years. As reported on the Huffington Post, the study showed that from 2008 to 2009, alcohol abuse went up 11 percent, and marijuana use up 19 percent. And a most interesting and relevant finding–more girls than ever are drinking and doing drugs.
“Young women in some of these studies have been shown to be equaling their male counterparts,” child and adolescent psychologist Dr. Jennifer Hartstein told CBS in a TV interview. “Which was not usually the case. So we have to question why.”
In the CBS interview, Hartstein recommends that parents do not lie to their children and that they educate them as early as possible about making good choices. I’ve tried to do just that.
What do you parents of young girls think: have you or will you tell your daughters what your experiences have been with alcohol and drugs if/when they ask?