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New research, by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) suggests underage drinking spikes on New Year’s Day and the result will be more emergency room visits.

According to the study, on New Year’s Day 2009, there were about 1,980 U.S. emergency room visits that involved underage drinking, compared to 546 visits on an average day that year.

“This should be a wakeup call to community leaders, parents and caring adults about the potential risk our young people face for alcohol-related accidents, injuries and death, during this time of year,” SAMHSA administrator Pamela Hyde said.

New Year’s Day surpasses other national holiday’s including Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekend. In fact, more people die in alcohol-related accidents during Christmas and New Year’s than any other period of the year.

What can parents do?

Talk with their children about the dangers of alcohol consumption.

Keep in mind that young people get mixed messages from parents about alcohol consumption. Peer pressure is another factor that should be considered as well.

Talk Early. Talk Often. Get others involved. Visit SAMSHA for more information.

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