Stories about: John Knight

Boston launches anti-underage drinking campaign. Is it enough?

John Knight, MD

On your way to work this morning you many have noticed a billboard or ad on the T, informing parents about the danger—and prevalence— of underage drinking. The signage is part of the “We Don’t Serve Teens” campaign, a national program urging parents and other adults to be more proactive in stopping underage drinking. Boston is the first to launch the campaign citywide, and with good reason; underage drinking is declining nationally but remains a very persistent problem here, particularly among the large number of college students who call the city home for nine months out of the year.

Educating adults about the dangers of underage drinking is no coincidence either. According to a national government survey 69 percent of underage drinkers get their alcohol from older family or friends. Clearly some of the people providing this alcohol, whether they do it knowingly or not, aren’t aware of how serious a problem underage drinking really is.

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Talking to your teen about Four Loko

The alcoholic energy drink Four Loko has been in the news lately because of its high alcohol content and popularity with young drinkers. Here John Knight, MD, director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research(CeASAR), comments on how parents can talk to their teens about the potential danger of Four Loko.

John Knight, MD

If you read the papers or watched the news this weekend there’s a good chance you saw media coverage about the alcoholic energy drink Four Loko, which has been making headlines for its role in the hospitalization of college students, prompting local universities to issue warnings about its potency and was even banned by the state of Michigan. According to reports, the product’s high alcohol content has earned nicknames like “blackout in a can” or “liquid cocaine.”

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Study links R rated movies and teen drinking

A study released in the May issue of Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs suggests children whose parents restrict access to R rated movies are considerably less likely to try alcohol than peers of the same age who are allowed to see restricted films.

As seen in this interview, John Knight, MD, director at the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (CeASAR) at Children’s Hospital Boston isn’t surprised at the study’s findings.

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AAP: Docs needed in the fight to stop teen drinking

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John Knight, MD

Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement calling on pediatricians nationwide to be knowledgeable about teenage drinking, preventative measures to stop it and treatment options for adolescent substance abuse. The statement included information on how alcohol can interfere with the developing teenage brain, and the strong correlation between early alcohol consumption and alcoholism later in life.

John Knight, MD, director at the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (CeASAR) at Children’s Hospital Boston, says both parents and pediatricians should do more to combat adolescent alcohol use— especially in the coming months as the weather gets warmer and the prom/graduation season starts for many of the country’s teenagers.

“We have data that suggest if doctors spend if one or two minutes discussing the negative effects of alcohol with their adolescent patients, there is a dramatic decrease in the number of kids who start drinking. You can reduce the prevalence of drinking from 40 percent to 20 percent,” he says.

“But parents have a lot of influence over their children too, even if they think they don’t, and therefore they need to set a model of behavior, especially with younger kids.”

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