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Underage teens knock back average of 13 drinks in session

Children as young as 14 are drinking an average of 13 alcoholic beverages in a session, with one and five experiencing blackouts, a new study has found.

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre found boys were knocking back 15 standard drinks while girls were downing 11 in a single occasion.

The study surveyed 3,500 of the heaviest Australian drinkers – aged between 14-19.

Children as young as 14 are drinking an average of 13 alcoholic beverages in a session, with one and five experiencing blackouts, a new study has found (stock image)

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre found boys were knocking back 15 standard drinks while girls were downing 11 in a single occasion (stock image)

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre found boys were knocking back 15 standard drinks while girls were downing 11 in a single occasion (stock image)

National Drug Research Institute researcher Tina Lam said they found fewer teenage drinkers in recent years but those who were consuming alcohol, were having higher quantities.

‘Slowly more and more young people are choosing not to drink but the young ones who are still drinking are drinking higher amounts,’ Dr Lam said.

‘We’re really concerned about the harms associated with this drinking… which can include blackouts, the risk of injury, vomiting, regretted sexual behaviour and regretted social behaviours such as arguments. 

The researchers found the drinking sessions were held on private premises. The teenagers said they accessed the alcohol from their friends.

‘When we asked about their most recent heavy drinking occasion the median quantity for males was 15 standard drinks for males and for females 11, and they told us this was a fairly normal drinking session for them and for most had occurred in the previous fortnight,’ Dr Lam said. 

The study surveyed 3,500 of the heaviest Australian drinkers - aged between 14-19 (stock image)

The study surveyed 3,500 of the heaviest Australian drinkers – aged between 14-19 (stock image)

Nearly a quarter of the underage drinkers admitted the last time they tried to buy alcohol from a bottle shop, the purchase was ‘very easy’. 

The research also found underage teens who were given just sips of booze by their parents were more likely to binge drink by the time they turned 17.

Six years of data found 17-year-olds given alcohol by their parents when they were younger, even small amounts, were more likely to binge drink and show alcohol dependence, a study by the University of New South Wales shows.

Parents who believed they were helping teens by supplying alcohol or supervising drinking were putting them at risk of becoming binge drinkers, UNSW Professor Richard Mattick said on Tuesday.

‘At around 17 years of age children who received alcohol from their parents were more likely to be binge drinking, experience alcohol-related harms and show symptoms of dependence,’ he said.

Nearly a quarter of the underage drinkers admitted the last time they tried to buy alcohol from a bottle shop, the purchase was 'very easy' (stock image)

Nearly a quarter of the underage drinkers admitted the last time they tried to buy alcohol from a bottle shop, the purchase was ‘very easy’ (stock image)

The children were 15 when the parents first supplied or supervised their drinking, the study found.

‘It seems the passage of time did not see moderation of consumption, but rather an increase in drinking problems,’ he said.

Almost 2000 children aged from 12-13 and their parents were recruited for the study into parental supply of alcohol which started in 2011.

While binge drinking among teens was an issue, another study into illicit drugs found the use of LSD was increasing.

Half of the 786 regular drug users surveyed reported using LSD in a six-month period and demonstrated an upward trend for the use of hallucinogens.

The study along with others into teenage drinking and illicit drug trends are due to be presented at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre Symposium which starts on Tuesday.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk