Did you know … ?
Alcohol use starts young and increases with age. The percentages of 8th,
10th, and 12th graders who admitted drinking alcohol in the 30-day period prior
to the 2010 Monitoring the Future survey were 14 percent, 29 percent, and 41 percent
Those who start drinking at a young age are more likely to have problems with alcohol
as adults. Youth who drink before age 15 are five times more likely to
develop alcohol dependence than those who start at 21. That’s why it’s important
to start talking early and keep talking about underage drinking.
Ninety percent of 12th graders say that it is fairly easy or very easy for them
to get alcohol. In most cases, an adult is buying the alcohol for them,
selling it to them, or condoning its use in some way.
Your opinion about underage drinking matters—a lot! Teens say they rely
on adults more than anyone else to help them make tough decisions and to provide
Underage drinking kills more youth than all illegal drugs combined. Every
year, about 5,000 young people under age 21 die from alcohol use.
Underage drinking can cause changes in the structure and function of the developing
brain, especially when kids drink heavily. This is a major concern because
(1) the brain continues to develop into the mid-20s, (2) so many adolescents begin
to drink at a young age, and (3) so many youth binge when they drink.