SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The number of teenagers coming into hospital emergency rooms for issues related to alcohol consumption nearly quadruples on New Year’s Day.

A study released Thursday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found there were just under 2,000 ER visits nationwide on New Year’s 2009 related to teen drinking, compared to 546 on an average day.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Since many teenagers see New Year’s Eve as a last chance to party before winter vacation ends, parents need to make sure there will be adult supervision where their children will be that night, said Armando Corpus, a clinical manager at Thunder Road, the substance abuse program at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.

“It’s really a matter of planning,” he said.

Corpus said it’s not the time to preach, punish or threaten. Instead talk calmly and honestly about what’s going to happen, he said.

“Rather than just sort of let everything loose, they need to prepare their child,” Corpus said.

He noted that for many recovering from addiction, the first moment of clarity about the problem was a conversation with an emergency room nurse about the episode that led them to the hospital.

The study found that patients admitted to hospitals for underage drinking on New Year’s was also high on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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