After revealing that 89 per cent of young people drink at home with alcohol most commonly supplied by their parents, Dr Gillian Tober urged delegates at Primary Care 2012 to educate parents in order to tackle Britain's underage drinking culture.

Dr Tobin, a consultant psychologist at the University of Leeds, went on to describe Britain's binge drinking mentality as "almost unique" while revealing that England & Wales have the second highest number of under 15s who drink at least once week. 

With America and Scandanavian countries coming out amongst the lowest in the same study, Dr Tobin argued that a higher age limit and higher price per unit were key to lowering underage drinking.

Speaking as part of the Association of Young People's Health 'adolescent health programme' Dr Tobin also criticised those parents who don't confront potential problems.

"Nearly two-thirds of parents believe their children don't drink as much as their peers," she said. "These same parents are the same ones that supply children with alcohol and that lack of parental control is one of the key risk factors identified with underage drinking turning into a long-term problem."

However, she also stressed that teenagers need to focus on the immediate rather than long-term problems that drinking can cause.

"In our survey, the main risk factor [of drinking] identified by teenagers was long-term health, even death, but they seem to be ignoring the risks of accidents, despite alcohol-related accidents being the third most common cause of death for 15-18 year olds. Now we've got a situation, for the first time in a generation, where more teenagers die per year than the very young - so something has to change."

For more information on young people's health visit www.youngpeopleshealth.org.uk/

Posted 24/5/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com