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Underage Drinking a Major Public Health Concern

Underage Drinking

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that underage drinking is a major public health concern. A new study, however, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration finds that hospital emergency rooms treat more underage drinkers on New Year’s Day than on any other day of the year.
 
On New Year’s Day in 2009, according to the report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there were an estimated 1,980 trips to the emergency room by underage drinkers. This was a higher figure than the daily average of 546 trips to the emergency room by underage drinkers in the same year. There were 676 visits on Memorial Day and 942 on the Fourth of July.
 
The experts have an explanation for the surge.
 
“Greater access to alcohol, less parental oversight, and mixed messages from parents may fuel surges in underage drinking, which can result in visits to hospital emergency departments because of overconsumption or alcohol-related accidents or injuries.”

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