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Parents who give their children alcohol increase the risk that they will binge drink in their teenage years, an Australian study has found.

There is no evidence to support the view that parents who give their children alcohol are reducing the risk of binge drinking or alcohol-related harms in their teenage years, found the study involving just under 2000 adolescents between 12 and 18 years old.

There is no evidence to support the view that parents who give their children alcohol are reducing the risk of binge drinking or alcohol-related harms in their teenage years.  

Teenagers whose parents allow them to drink are twice as likely to access alcohol through other sources and engage in binge drinking, the researchers reported on Friday in Lancet Public Health.

Teenagers given alcohol by their parents were 95 per cent more likely to binge drink – more than four standard drinks in one sitting – in the future than those who had found another way to score a drink.

"This reinforces the fact that alcohol consumption leads to harm, no matter how it is supplied," said lead author Professor Richard Mattick, a drug and alcohol dependency and behaviour expert at UNSW. "We advise that parents should avoid supplying alcohol to their teenagers if they wish to reduce their risk of alcohol-related harms."

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