The Secret Life of Teens: Clubbing

ByABC News via logo
September 13, 2006, 8:28 AM

Sept. 13, 2006 — -- Along with nearly $10 billion in economic activity, New York night life also generates some high-profile problems.

The city's bars and clubs attract 65 million partyers every year -- some of them are too young and don't belong there.

"Underage drinking is a big, big problem, and it's been a big, big problem for time immemorial," said David Rabin, a club owner and member of the New York Nightlife Association.

According to a 2005 ABC News poll, many Americans agree.

In the poll, 75 percent of Americans saw underage drinking as a serious problem in their communities. One-third called it "very" serious.

The situation could get worse.

A new risk may ratchet up the danger in the age-old problem of kids, clubs and carousing.

Child psychologist Harold Koplewicz says a generation of children treated for attention deficit and other disorders has reached the age where it may mix medicine and alcohol.

"We have a whole group of students who have access to medication that when used properly, can be lifesaving," Koplewicz said. "But when used illicitly, can really be harmful."

Even without drugs, kids and partying can be a dangerous, sometimes deadly, combination.

The slaying of Jennifer Moore in New York this summer was a painful reminder.

Authorities say the suburban teenager was partying at a club called Guest House, even though she was only 18.

Guest House said she might have used a fake ID to get in. Its bartenders don't remember serving her.

Moore left the club and wound up in a New Jersey hotel, where authorities said she was raped and killed.

In the aftermath, her father warned other teenagers to pay attention.

"Just think for a second about the things that your parents have said to you, and the kind of things that I would have said to my daughter, and I would have wished that I could have said it better or they would have heard it better," Hugh Moore said.

"Good Morning America" spent a recent Friday night hanging around New York nightclubs.

They were not always welcome. Some club goers objected to being filmed, grabbing the camera and cameramen.