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The Truth About Teen Drinking


teen drinking statistics

Teen drinking is a serious health problem.

Did you know that..?

  • 37% of 8th graders report having consumed alcohol
  • more than 50% of all teens report having had at least 1 drink by 15 years old
  • more than 70% of all teens report having had at least 1 drink by 18 years old
  • more teens use alcohol than smoke
  • teens who start drinking before age 15 are 5 times more likely to develop alcohol dependence/abuse than those who begin drinking after age 21
  • about 5,000 kids under age 21 die every year as a result of under-aged drinking
  • binge drinking, consuming many drinks in a short period of time, occurs in almost 20% of boys age 15 and girls age 16-17
  • teens who drink are more likely to be victims of physical or sexual assault than their peers who do not drink

Why teens drink…

  • teens, as they mature, often try to assert their independence and take risks and do not realize or understand the consequences of their choices and actions
  • peer pressure, to fit in
  • to feel good, reduce stress, to relax
  • easy access: most teens who drink get it from their home
  • drinking often portrayed in the media as fun, relaxing, entertaining, sexy
  • poor self esteem, depression, anger

Ways parents can prevent under-aged drinking…

  • make it harder for teens to obtain it (do not let them have ANY access in home)
  • drink responsibly if you, as apparent do drink in front of your teen
  • TALK to your teen about the dangers of alcohol
  • KNOW your teen’s friends, and their families
  • have dinners together and talk about how life is going—BE involved in your teen’s life!