Teen drinking binge drinking is getting more extreme - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Teen drinking binge drinking is getting more extreme

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Alcohol fueled, all-night partying might seem like a rite of passage for many teenagers but it could have deadly effects.

"The number one cause of death within adolescence is traffic accidents primarily due to drunk driving," said Diana Levitt with Teen Health Connection in Charlotte.

She is focusing on examining the behavior in local high schoolers. In 2011 the data showed 16 percent of teens between the ages of 13 and 18 were engaging in binge drinking.

"Teens have been coming in and saying they're drinking between 5 to 10 alcoholic beverages an evening and they they're doing this every week," said Levitt who is concerned about why the number of minors binge drinking is going up.

"Is there a deep seated issue going on that leads to mental health issues or is this them engaging in inappropriate and unhealthy relationships?"

Teen Health Connection, which aims to help teens explore the root cause of teen drinking, says underage drinking can stem from depression, anxiety, stress or peer pressure.

The organization believes with early recognition of binge drinking the better off the teen will be.

"We really want to be able to intervene prior to them involving themselves in a more serious drug," said Levitt.

 Researchers say if you drink a lot from a young age you can damage to your brain…since it is long way from being fully developed in the teen years.

They recommend parents look for changes in behavior including grades dropping, change in friends, feeling lethargic irritability.

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