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Parenting, Teens, and Alcohol

How Common is Drinking Among Teens?

Drinking among teenagers is a serious problem in the US and is the most commonly used drug among teens.
  • Fifty-two percent of eighth graders and 80 percent of high school seniors have used alcohol at some time.

  • Twenty-five percent of eighth graders and 62 percent of high school seniors have been drunk.

  • Seventy-one percent of eighth graders and 95 percent of high school seniors say it would be easy to get alcohol if they wanted some.

Why is Drinking a Problem?

Teens underestimate the risks that drinking can pose. In a recent survey, only 56 percent of eighth graders and 43 percent of high school seniors said they thought drinking heavily once or twice a weekend was a great risk. Alcohol is a powerful, mood-altering drug and affects the mind and body in often-unpredictable ways.

As a result:

  • Alcohol-related traffic accidents are a major cause of death and disability among teens, and are linked with deaths of youth by drowning, fire, suicide, and homicide.

  • Teens that use alcohol are more likely to become sexually active at earlier ages and to have unprotected sex.

  • Young people who drink are more likely than others to be victims of violent crimes, including rape, aggravated assault, and robbery.

  • Teens that drink are more likely to have problems with school work and conduct.

  • Youth who begin drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to be dependent on alcohol as adults than those who wait until the age of 21.

Is Your Teenager Drinking Alcohol?

Finding out if your teen is drinking can be difficult. They can hide their activities in several ways, sometimes to the extreme. Learning the warning signs and red flags can help in stopping your teen from drinking. Learn more

Common Myths About Alcohol

Teens are naturally curious and impressionable, and when presented with alcohol they may experiment with it even though they are uniformed. Dangers arise from experimentation because teens are often unaware of the consequences and dangers of alcohol use. Understanding fact from fiction is an important first step. Learn more

How to Prevent Your Teen From Drinking

There are many ways to prevent your teen from drinking. Communication, openness, and involvement in their lives are the fundamental elements in preventing your teen from drinking. Learn more