Is Underage Drinking a Problem?
Facts about Underage Drinking
- In 2012, nearly 3/4 of students (72%) have consumed alcohol (more than just a few sips) by the end of high school, and more than 1/3 (37%) have done so by 8th grade.
- The average age teen boys first try alcohol is age 11, for teen girls it’s 13.
- The rate of current alcohol consumption increases with age, according to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, from 2% at age 12 to 21% at age 16, and 55% at age 20.
- Teens who start drinking before age 15 years are 5 times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after the legal age of 21.
- According to a study by Columbia University, underage drinkers account for 11.4% of all of the alcohol consumed in the U.S.
Consequences From Underaged Drinking
- 9 out of 10 American teens report that drinking is not worth the consequences it can cause.
- Teens who drink heavily are three times more likely to try and hurt themselves (self-harm, attempt suicide etc.) than those who don't.
- The 3 leading causes of death for 15 to 24-year-olds are automobile crashes, homicides and suicides – alcohol is a leading factor in all 3.
- In 2010, 56% of drivers aged 15 to 20 who were killed in motor vehicle crashes after drinking and driving were not wearing a seat belt.