voices in the family

Young adults and alcohol


Most parents hate to think about their teens and young adult children using or misusing alcohol. Experimentation is common but it comes with risks to individuals and society: “…drunk driving deaths and ER visits, pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases incurred under the influence, wasted police time, suspensions from school, wrecked athletic and career dreams, families eaten away by worry and deceit, laws eroded by persistent disregard, and young adults falling into self-destructive habits that can be hard to shake.” (All noted in the 2010 report Understanding Teen Drinking Cultures in America).

Dr. Dan Gottlieb and his guests Kathleen Meyers, Tisha Miller, and Hugh Gusterson discuss young adult drinking–what parents and their kids should know, talk about, and do to promote healthy behavior.

Kathleen Meyers, Ph.D. is a senior researcher at the Treatment Research Institute (TRI) in Philadelphia. She is a recognized leader in the assessment and treatment of adolescent substance use disorders, and has served on numerous national expert panels on adolescent treatment.

Tisha Miller, L.C.S.W., is a family specialist at TRI and works within the organization’s Family Training Program.

Hugh Gusterson is a professor of anthropology and sociology at George Mason University. He is the co-conductor of the study Understanding Teen Drinking Cultures in America (2010).


Recommended reading:

  • From Binge to Blackout: A Mother & Son Struggle with Teen Drinking by Chris Volkmann, Toren Volkmann
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Alcohol Abuse and Binge Drinking by Vanessa Lynn Michaels, Jeremy Harrow
  • Drinking Among Young Adults: Screening, Brief Intervention, and Outcome by Brian Borsari, Tracy O’Leary Teyyaw, Peter M. Monti
  • Beat Binge Drinking: A Smart Drinking Guide for Teens, College Students, and Young Adults Who Choose to Drink by Donna J. Cornett
  • Children of Alcoholics: A Critical Appraisal of Theory and Research by Kenneth J. Sher
  • Psychological Characteristics of Children of Alcoholics by Kenneth J. Sher

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