Binge Drinking Popular Among Teens

Kathy Moore: Has 15 Year Old Daughter
Kathy Moore: Has 15 Year Old Daughter
Mindy Navarro: Mother of 16 Year Old Son
Mindy Navarro: Mother of 16 Year Old Son

One in five middle school students in our area binge drinks. That fact is hard for parents to swallow.

Binge drinking is 5 or more alcoholic drinks at one time. This means 11 to 14 year olds are fessing up to drinking it down.

"Oh my God middle school kids, they're lives haven't even begun yet. I can't imagine young kids doing that. But I know that they do," says Kathy Moore, a mother of four.

"I'm surprised, very surprised especially at the age. I have a 14 year old son and it's just shocking. Appaulling," says Mindy Navarro.

What really shocked these parents is where middle school students are getting ahold of alcohol. It's most likely at home.

"If you think about the middle schoolers, that's about the age that parents say we can trust them alone in the home. What they don't realize is they've left alcohol in their homes where the kids can get to," says Melynn Huntley, with Impact Futures.

Huntley says parents need to be better about watching their kids, and talking to them at an early age about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs.

"Don't think that your kids can't be influenced, or they will not have opportunity. Because it can happen very easily," says Huntley.

Mothers like Moore, know that.

"I have a 15 year old at home and we're open about things like that. Alcohol isn't one of her things so far and i'm hoping it won't be, but we do have open communication so we talk about that," says Moore.

This is all according to a survey done on students in the Amarillo Independent School District. The survey also shows that from the age of 12 on, the panhandle region has the highest binge drinking rates in the state.