Underage Alcohol and Other Drugs

Alcohol and Other Drugs:
Underage drinking

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, youth who start consuming alcohol before the age of 15 are four times as likely to become alcohol dependent as those who do not start until they are 21. Young people who begin drinking before age 15 are six times more likely to abuse alcohol than those who begin drinking at age 21. Additionally, youth who started drinking before age 15, compared to those who waited until they were 21, were 12 times more likely to be unintentionally injured while under the influence of alcohol, seven times more likely to be in a motor vehicle crash after drinking, and 10 times more likely to have been in a physical fight after drinking.
Underage alcohol use is directly related to criminal behavior and serious social and health problems such as:

  • Suicide and homicide
  • Traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities
  • Unprotected or unwanted sex, teen pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS
  • Physical and sexual assaults
  • Withdrawal, depression and emotional/psychological difficulties
  • School delinquency, failure and dropout

Resources for Reducing Underage Drinking

Updated Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 12:22PM