- Underage drinking at a glance
Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused substance among youths in the United States — more than tobacco and illicit drugs — and is responsible for more than 4,300 annual deaths among minors, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
- Although illegal, people ages 12 to 20 years drink 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States; more than 90 percent of this alcohol is consumed via binge drinking.
- In 2010, there were approximately 189,000 emergency rooms visits by persons under age 21 for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol.
A 2012 California Healthy Families survey found:
- 24 percent of Galt fifth-graders had had one or two sips of an alcoholic drink, and 1 percent had consumed an entire drink.
- 30 percent of the city’s 11th-graders had participated in binge drinking, the act of consuming four to five alcoholic drinks within two hours.
A 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that among high school students nationwide, during a 30-day period:
- 39 percent drank some amount of alcohol.
- 22 percent binge drank.
- 8 percent drove after drinking alcohol.
- 24 percent rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.
The same year, a Monitoring the Future Survey reported that 33 percent of eighth-graders and 70 percent of 12th-graders had tried alcohol, and 13 percent of eighth-graders and 40 percent of 12th-graders drank during the past month.
Youths who drink alcohol are more likely to experience:
- School problems such as higher absence and poor or failing grades.
- Social problems such as fighting and lack of participation in youth activities.
- Legal problems such as arrest for driving or physically hurting someone while drunk.
- Physical problems such as hangovers or illnesses.
- Unwanted, unplanned and unprotected sexual activity.
- Disruption of normal growth and sexual development.
- Physical and sexual assault.
- Higher risk for suicide and homicide.
- Alcohol-related car crashes and other unintentional injuries, such as burns, falls and drowning.
- Memory problems.
- Abuse of other drugs.
- Changes in brain development that may have life-long effects.
- Death from alcohol poisoning.
Youths who start drinking before age 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21 years.
— Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Healthy Families
Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014 11:13 pm
More than a quarter of the country’s high school seniors and 14 percent of its sophomores reported being drunk at least once in the last month, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
And approximately 4,300 young people under the age of 21 die annually as a result of underage drinking in the United States.
Friday, April 25, 2014 11:13 pm.