New York Times looks at alcohol intake in HBP

The New York Times has a look at the role of alcohol in the Harry Potter book series and film franchise–particularly, the latest film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Alcohol educators say that they don’t want to ruin the fun, but that parents should be aware of alcohol’s role in the Harry Potter series, the books as well as the movies. Several studies suggest that movies influence teenagers’ behavior when it comes to drinking, drugs and tobacco. An Institute of Medicine committee on under-age drinking has said there is “a strong possibility” that youth exposure to alcohol through movies contributes to early initiation of alcohol use.

Alcohol experts say this does not mean that children shouldn’t see the new Harry Potter movie. It actually presents an opportunity for parents to talk to their children about alcohol, says Dr. Christopher Welsh, a University of Maryland psychiatrist and addiction specialist.