NEW YORK, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Parents are the best source for helping teens stop drinking, the New York University Child Study Center said, responding to a federal report on the subject.
"Contrary to popular belief, parents remain the greatest influence over their children's behavior," said Richard Gallagher, director of the Parenting Institute and the Thriving Teens Project at the center. "Though media and peers play a role, parental influence is critical."
A study by the national Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta found that 45 percent of the teenage respondents reported consuming alcohol within the past month and 64 percent who drank said they were binge drinkers. Binge drinking is defined as having five or more alcoholic drinks in a row.
Gallagher said parents can do several things to help reduce teen drinking:
-- State what actions teens are expected to take when confronted with substance use.
-- Talk about the alcohol use that children observe so they learn what's acceptable use.
-- Help find leisure activities and places for locations that are substance-free.
-- Limit children's access to substances that can be misused.
-- Inform teens about the dangers associated with alcohol use and abuse.