Monthly Archives: August 2010

Most Underage Drinkers Seen in ER Are Male

The majority of U.S. emergency-room (ER) visits for underage drinking involve males, according to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

HealthDay reported Aug. 11 that researchers in SAMHSA’s public health surveillance system analyzed 2008 data and found that one-third of drug-related ER visits among patients aged 12-20 involved alcohol. Of these, males accounted for 53 percent of patients aged 12-17 and 62 percent of patients aged 18-20.

“Alcohol consumption, especially by young males, is often seen as an exciting rite of passage into adulthood,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “This has led to a public health crisis with adolescents suffering serious injuries that oftentimes lead to tragic consequences.”

Results also showed that 70 percent of ER visits for underage drinking involved alcohol alone, while 30 percent involved alcohol in combination with other drugs, such as marijuana, anti-anxiety drugs, narcotics, and cocaine.

Only 19 percent of patients presenting for alcohol alone received follow-up care compared with 36 percent of patients presenting for both alcohol and drugs. “Every such emergency department visit provides an opportunity to conduct brief interventions that can reduce future alcohol and drug abuse and save young men’s lives,” said Hyde.

The full report, Emergency Department Visits Involving Underage Alcohol Use: 2008, is available on the SAMHSA Web site.

Original article from Join Together.

Bill will hold adults liable for underage drinking

Sacramento, Calif. Adults who provide alcohol to minors at social gatherings could be held liable if the minors are subsequently injured or killed, under a bill passed by the state Legislature.

The Assembly on Monday voted 67-1 to approve the legislation, sending it to the governor’s desk.

AB2486 would add California to the list of states that impose potential “social host” liability on adults who knowingly serve alcohol to underage guests. The alcohol would have to be the main cause of the injury.

The bill would not apply to commercial or licensed alcohol vendors.

Supporters say it would deter adults from promoting underage drinking and reduce alcohol-related deaths.

Opponents argued that people age 18 to 20 are adults under most areas of the law and should be held accountable for their actions.

The Associated Press