Print version. Alcohol is the drug of choice among youth. Many young people are experiencing the consequences of drinking too much, at too early an age.
Underage drinking can occur in any family, regardless of income status or ethnicity. Many parents are surprised to learn that underage drinking can start earlier than the teenage years. Even more important is your role in talking with your child frequently, and at a young age, about the dangers of underage drinking.
Often people make light about their first experiences with alcohol. The level of alcohol gets so high that it can seriously affect the parts of the brain that control balance and speech, as well as affect the nerves that control your breathing and heartbeat and lower your body temperature, which can lead to hypothermia. It can also cancel your gag reflex, putting you at serious risk of choking to death, especially if you vomit.
Our research indicates that the average age a person first tries alcohol is now Alcohol can have serious effects on developing brains and bodies, as well as leaving teenagers vulnerable to unsafe situations. Drinking alcohol is seen as something teenagers are expected to do as part of growing up but starting to drink so young is more damaging than many teenagers realise.
Underage drinking has actually been steadily declining for decades in the United States, but it is still prevalent enough to be a major public health concern. Byall 50 states and the District of Columbia had adopted 21 as the minimum drinking age, setting off a steady decline in underage drinking rates among 8th, 10th and 12th-grade students that continues today. Males still binge drink and drink daily more than underage females, but the differences are diminishing.
Underage drinking is the most common form of substance abuse among today's teens and it raises many serious risks to both health and safety. The transition into puberty is well known as a time of risk taking as adolescents push their boundaries and clamor for acceptance from their peers, and alcohol is easily obtained and can be quickly consumed. In fact, about 90 percent of teen drinking is considered binge drinking due to the speed and quantity of consumption.
Alcohol use is not only an adult problem. Most American high school seniors have had an alcoholic drink within the past month. Drinking can lead to risky and dangerous behaviors.
Alcohol is a common part of Australian culture. We drink when we get together with friends, to celebrate weddings, birthdays and other big occasions and to unwind after work. As drinking is widely promoted as being fun and glamorous, it should come as no surprise that teenagers want to join in.
Teens drink less often than adults, but drink more per occasion. This can impair their judgment and put them and others at risk of physical harm and dangerous behavior, including:. Underage drivers are more susceptible than adults to the alcohol-induced impairment of driving skills.
You will also find information on spotting the signs and symptoms of substance use and hotlines for immediate assistance. Treatment for addiction takes many forms and depends on the needs of the individual. In accordance with the American Society of Addiction Medicine, we offer information on outcome-oriented treatment that adheres to an established continuum of care.