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Tonya Papanikolas ReportingA new study reveals underage youth are obtaining alcohol from a surprising place, adults. The American Medical Association polled teens and parents and learned how easy it is for teens to get alcohol.
Many teens said it was easy to get alcohol at home without their parents knowing, but 1/3 said it's easy even if their parents do know. That's because 26-percent of parents feel their kids should be able to drink at home if the parent's present.
Geoff Harris: "I've been to parties where a parent has provided alcohol to kids because they really want to feel accepted by their kid."
Nearly one in four teens surveyed for a recent poll said their own parents have supplied them with alcohol.
Ellen Texeira, Mother: "I don't agree with it. I never will. I think it's wrong. And I think parents should be more responsible."
Angie Parker, Mother: "I don't know that it teaches the children to be responsible. It doesn't seem the parents are being responsible."
21-percent of teens had also attended a party where alcohol was provided by a parent. And 27-percent say they'd gone to a party where youth were drinking with parents there.
Ellen Texeira: "I wouldn't want them to do it with my children, and I would never do it with theirs."
Some parents say it's a difficult topic because they feel the child is safer with a chaperone. A psychiatrist at Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful says parents need to be aware they are role models.
Dr. Dawn Stewart, Psychiatrist, Lakeview Hospital: "Most certainly, if a parent condones something such as alcohol, they're going to look to that and say, 'Yes, this all right for me to do too.'"
Dr. Stewart says a teen's level of experience and tendency for being impulsive makes drinking particularly dangerous for adolescents. She encourages parents to deal with the topic openly with their children.