Underage Drinking: A Public Health Problem

Posted: December 23, 2015 by

underage drinking


Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance among young people in America. Underage drinking is a rising health concern in almost every state in the nation, as drinking at a young age is associated with various health and safety risks. The harm of underage drinking can affect any teen or adolescent, regardless of age or the level of drinking. Any young person can experience the consequences of underage drinking such as destructive behaviors, injuries, violence, or even death. This growing problem is not only a concern for families, but also a nationwide issue.

Underage Drinking Statistics:

  • American teens are reported to start drinking regularly at the age of 15.
  • More than 5,000 deaths of individuals ages 21 and below are connected with underage drinking each year.
  • Various research has shown that 44% of college students have admitted to binge drinking.
  • Annually, nearly 30,000 college students need an intensive alcohol treatment after suffering an alcohol overdose.
  • At the age of 15, more than 50% of young people had already had at least 1 alcoholic drink.
  • At the age of 18, more that 70% had drank at least 1 alcoholic beverage.
  • An estimated 10 million individuals ages 12 to 20 have admitted to binge drinking in the past month.

Consequences of Underage Drinking:

  • Public issues like violent behavior which can lead to a fight, lack of involvement in community activities, and school issues such as poor participation which leads to failing grades.
  • Health problems such as hangovers, alcohol poisoning, and long-term damage to brain and organs.
  • Increased likelihood to be involved in unprotected sexual activity.
  • Drinking alcohol during prior to or during puberty can upset the critical hormonal balance necessary for typical development of organs, muscles, and bones and can also adversely affect the development of the reproductive system.
  • Can cause memory problems.
  • A person who starts drinking alcohol as a teenager is four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who choose to wait until adulthood before consuming alcohol.
  • Underage drinking causes significant changes in the brain, including affecting the neurons which help to develop the formations of new neural networks.

Due to the availability of alcohol in the country, it is a serious problem which shouldn’t be taken for granted. Unfortunately, many individuals consider drinking alcohol as a normal part of growing up. Yet, drinking at a very young age is not only dangerous for the user, but also for the whole community because of the increasing number of alcohol-related vehicle accidents, suicides, and other damages. Due to the serious problems which are associated with underage drinking, such as alcoholism, poor performance at school, and unprotected sexual activity, programs which help to prevent alcohol use among young people is exceedingly important. As is recognizing the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse among teens and adolescents because it can help to stop the problem before it turns into an addiction. For more information about teens and alcohol abuse or even to get them treatment, contact Drug Treatment Louisville KY at (502) 252-6333 or visit drugtreatmentlouisville.com.

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