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Alcoholism & Addiction

Oregon Ranks 16th in Nation for Underage Drinking

A national study on the use of illegal drugs shows that Oregon kids rank 16th in the nation for alcohol abuse. The study finds that about 21 percent of people between 12 and 20 have used alcohol in the past month.

Doctor Peter Delany of the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration says four percent of them buy their own alcohol.

He said many parents concentrate on other problems. "People have tended to look at illicit drugs as something worse. This is the number one drug for kids. It’s easily accessible for many of them. I think that people need to start paying attention and need to start talking to their kids and do it often," he said.

The three leading causes of death for young people are suicide, homicide, and accidents. Health experts say all those are exacerbated by alcohol use. Research also shows that teens who begin drinking before 15 are four times more likely to have alcohol problems as adults.

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