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One News Now

Spokesman Cites Churches’ Silence as Factor in Teen Drinking Trends

One News Now
September 20, 2013

Teen DrinkingReacting to a just-published study, a conservative activist sees several reasons for extreme binge drinking among teenagers.

A study released Monday in JAMA Pediatrics finds one in 10 high school seniors in America have engaged in “extreme binge drinking,” meaning the consumption of 10 or more drinks in a row. The researchers from the University of Michigan and Pennsylvania State University suggest the behavior is “more entrenched” among some teens and express concern over such a habit in that age group “because they’re most at risk for the really severe consequences.”

Rev. Mark Creech, president of the American Council on Alcohol Problems (ACAP), talked with OneNewsNow about the study’s findings.

“Researchers don’t seem to know why extreme binge drinking is at such high levels, [but] I think the reasons are multifaceted,” he shares, acknowledging such factors as parental attitudes and peer pressure.
“We’re living in a day, for one, when the alcohol industry – though it talks a good talk about responsible drinking and its opposition to underage drinking – still continues to market products such as ‘alcopops’ [alcohol pops], which are fruity tasting malt beverages, knowing full well that they appeal and are sold primarily to youth.”

Another factor, he believes, is what he describes as a “craven silence” from the church on the issue of alcohol.

“We’ve seemingly backed away from this subject altogether for fear that someone will liken us to those old prohibitionists of the past,” he says. “Some [in the church] have abandoned the issue because they say there are much bigger issues for the church to be concerned about.”
While Creech says many Christians would conclude that moderation is good, he thinks a message from the church promoting abstinence would be better, especially in light of the clear health dangers inherent in drinking alcohol.

The study, which was conducted for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, found extreme binge drinking to be most common in rural areas and the Midwest and least common in the West. Whites and males were the most likely to engage in all levels of binge drinking. More than 16,000 high school seniors participated in the study. (Related article from Associated Press)

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This story was posted with permission from One News Now.