Underage Drinking Statistics and Resources to Prevent Addiction

Underage Drinking Statistics and Resources to Prevent Addiction

Underage Drinking Statistics and Resources to Prevent Addiction

Every year, thousands of American teens and even children are rushed to hospital for alcohol-related reasons. Although there are plenty of public programs and laws that aim to end underage drinking, the practice still continues. It is equally important for parents and teachers to educate minors about the dangers of drinking. By teaching them about abstinence or responsible drinking,  we can help to create healthier habits that are carried on into the adult years.

Among America’s youth, alcohol counts as the most abused substance. In fact, 11 percent of the country’s total alcohol consumption is attributed to minors. Even though it is illegal for people under 21 to drink, minors typically consume more alcohol during each drinking session than an adult does. This type of binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning in the short term and potentially to alcoholism in the long term. According to Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), almost half of all high school students drink alcohol. Around 56 percent of them reported that they drank in the home of another person. Minors who drink alcohol are not just high schoolers. Nearly 37 percent of eighth-graders have drunk alcohol.

Consequences of Underage Drinking

Children and teens are often far more susceptible to the effects of alcohol due to their lower tolerance levels or lower body weight. Approximately 5,000 minors die each year due to accidents or injuries directly linked to alcohol abuse. Those deaths include vehicle accidents,  homicides and suicides. Alcohol use among minors has been found to increase the chances of assault (both sexual and physical), and the likelihood of using tobacco or illegal drugs. Drinking also results in lower school grades. The immediate physical consequences can range from  hangovers to drinking-related injuries and alcohol poisoning. Girls who are pregnant can cause severe (even fatal) harm to the fetus by drinking. Drinking among minors also results in property damage or injury and death to other people as a result of drunk driving incidents.

Talking to Teens About Alcohol

It is every parent’s responsibility to educate their children on drinking and the effects of alcohol. Simply banning it outright without explanation can result in rebellion; it is easy enough for minors to get alcohol from friends or other people outside of the home, and drink it without their parents’ knowledge. The more important thing is to help guide them toward the decision to avoid drinking. In this way, children are better prepared to handle peer pressure when their friends urge them to drink. Teach them that a good and true friend would respect their decision rather than continuing to push them to get drunk. A common misconception among minors is that alcohol is needed for a good time. Parents and teachers can address this by discussing fun and healthy ways for minors to enjoy themselves without using alcohol. Additionally, show them examples and discuss the long- and short-term effects that occur mentally and physically from abusing alcohol. By properly educating children, they can make good decisions.

Find out much more about underage drinking and its dangerous consequences with the resources below.

  • Drinking and Driving – This article examines statistics that relate to underage people who drive while under the influence.
  • Underage Drinking – Learn about the proportion of people who drink while they are underage and how it affects them.
  • Drinking in College (PDF) – Many underage college students also binge drink due to peer pressure.
  • Results of Underage Drinking – See how underage drinking results in affected school grades, assaults, injuries, and other serious issues.
  • Underage Alcohol Abuse – Alcohol continues to be rampant among underage people, often with disastrous results.Underage Drinking Statistics and Resources to Prevent Addiction