Pop Music Encourages Binge Drinking Among Teens

Researchers and health experts of The University of Pittsburgh and the Norris Cotton Cancer Center have released their findings regarding alcohol use and young adults. The Pennsylvania school and the New Hampshire cancer center had their clinical research information published in the online journal, “Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research”.

Alcohol is the Leading Cause of Young Adult Fatalities

Binge Drinking

Binge Drinking Among Teens and Young Adults

The results revealed that alcohol is now the leading cause of young adult fatalities. When adolescents and young adults participate in binge drinking, they are immediately affected by the consequences of excessive alcohol in their systems. The Center for Disease and Prevention states that the effects could include violence, injuries, and indiscreet and reckless sexual behavior. More dangerous effects include alcohol poisoning that can cause blackouts, blood pressure to dive, body temperature to lower, coma, and death.

The studies also revealed the impressive impact and influence pop music has on adolescents when it came to recognizing alcohol related references. The Director of the Program for Research on Media and Health at Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine, Dr. Brian A. Primack noted that the average adolescent is exposed to about 3,000 references to different alcohol brands while listening to music. As well as being the Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, he also advises that the impact of the alcohol brand references is not fully understood in an age group that can be negatively affected by alcohol consumption.

The Study

Part of the studies done, included 2,500 young adults, aged between 15 and 23 years old.
Over half of the random survey takers admitted to having had a least one complete alcoholic drink. Those that admitted to binge drinking at least monthly was 18 percent, and 37 percent said they suffered some sort of problem due to alcohol, including injuries.

Further data revealed that those who listened to pop music with alcoholic references, and accurately remembered and identified the alcohol brands, were at double risk of drinking complete alcoholic drinks and being involved in binge drinking. Due to the amount of pop music adolescents listen to, they could be exposed to 14 alcohol references in one song-hour. Because of this unintended alcohol advertising, Dr. Primack revealed that the influence of alcoholic brands in pop music was similar in strength as the influence of parental and peer drinking.

Dr. Primack encourages parents to incorporate Media Literacy by asking their young adults three main questions:

  • “Who made this message and why did they make it?”
  • “What tricks or techniques do they use?”
  • “How is this different from real life?”

This encourages the truth of alcohol use among teens to be exposed, as well as diminish the false impressions they have of pop stars and celebrities.