Study: Underage drinking on the rise in NYC

According to a new study from the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, increased numbers of teens are turning to alcohol at an early age. The study shows that one in three underage New Yorkers say they've had alcohol, and that half of those binge drink or have more than five cocktails in an hour. Hunts Point resident Faina Burke, 18, says she can attest to the findings, admitting she suffers from alcoholism. Burke says she was 12 when her father, who suffered from bipolar disorder, committed suicide. To numb the pain, she says she got involved with drugs and alcohol. Susan Plaza, a senior clinical administrator at Burke's treatment center, Odyssey House, says she agrees with the study and that parents need to keep their children away from drugs. "Encourage them to talk about it openly without the fear of retaliation and repercussions," she says. Counselors at the center can be reached at 212-987-5100.

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