Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size
A
A
A

Youths Have Easy Access to Guns, Alcohol

Youths Have Easy Access to Guns, Alcohol

WebMD Health News

Sept. 16, 2002 -- Many American youths don't have to look far to find easy access to alcohol and guns. In fact, they don't have to look any further than their parents' liquor or gun cabinet. A new study shows about one in four adolescents has ready access to a gun or alcohol at home. And you might be surprised about who the teens are.

Misuse of alcohol and guns is a major contributor to the leading causes of death among young people, such as unintentional injuries, murder, and suicide. For example, more than a third of motor vehicle crashes among youth ages 15-20 in 1999 were attributed to alcohol. Researchers also say it's well known that most murders and suicides among young people involve firearms.

The study appears in the current issue of the journal Injury Prevention and is based on information from a nationwide 1995 survey of 18,500 youths aged 12 to 18.

Researchers found about 29% of adolescents reported having easy access to alcohol at home. And about 24% said they had ready access to a gun, with shotguns and rifles being the most commonly reported firearm available. About 2 million youths (10%) reported that they had access to both alcohol and guns at home.

Of particular interest, the study found that adolescents who were white, living with both parents, not receiving welfare, and had mothers who are highly educated were more likely to report having access to guns or alcohol.

Researchers say that finding reflects the characteristics of adults who are likely to use alcohol or own guns. Given the risks associated with alcohol and gun misuse among young people, study researcher Monica Swahn, PhD, MPH, of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the CDC, and colleagues say that prevention efforts should be targeted at white, middle-class families, who are not traditionally considered at high risk.

According to the researchers, those efforts should include media campaigns about safe gun storage and the risks associated with the misuse of guns and alcohol among youths.

"Raising public awareness of these issues, and making parents discuss them, will be necessary in order to increase safe storage practices of alcohol and guns," conclude the researchers.

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
 
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
 
slideshow fetal development
Slideshow
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
Article
 
What Causes Bipolar
Video
Woman trying on dress in store
Slideshow
 
pregnant woman
Article
Woman looking at pregnancy test
Quiz
 
calendar and baby buggy
Tool
dark chocolate squares
Slideshow