Peer pressure and substance abuse go hand-in-hand for many teens, which means that too many put their lives and futures at risk by drinking. Underage drinking is nothing new. Kids have always experimented with substance abuse, and drinking is at the top of the list for a number of reasons. Teens can usually access alcohol fairly easily and they tend to assume that drinking is safer than substance abuse. Learn the facts about teen drinking and convince the young people in your life to abstain.
Teenage Drinking Statistics
If you think your teen isn’t drinking, you may be right, but you could be dangerously wrong. The truth is that a lot of teens drink. In fact, by the eighth grade, nearly one-third of young people have already experimented with alcohol. By the last year of high school this number goes up to almost three-quarters. Nearly a quarter of high school seniors engage in binge drinking, which means drinking to the point of serious intoxication.
Underage Drinking And Accidents
The most visual and terrifying consequence of underage drinking is a car accident. Drinking and driving continues to be a problem for all age groups. Ten percent of teens say they have driven a car while under the influence and nearly a quarter admit to being a passenger with a drunk driver. Some may walk away from drunk-driving accidents, but most are not so lucky. Even when there are no injuries or fatalities, a teen driving drunk can face serious legal consequences.
Other types of accidents can happen when teens drink. These may cause injuries or even death and include drowning, falling or burns. Other accidents are also serious, such as transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancies, sexual assault and other types of violence. Accidental death by alcohol poisoning is also a possibility. A teen may literally drink himself to death if he doesn’t understand his limit.
Social And Emotional Consequences Of Underage Drinking
Teen substance abuse statistics show that teens that drink are at a greater risk for mental health problems and emotional issues. For instance, teen drinkers are more likely to engage in self-harm, like cutting, or to attempt suicide than their peers who don’t drink. Drinking teens are also more likely to be sexually active before they are ready or to be sexually assaulted, both of which can have lasting and detrimental consequences.
Teens that drink are also more likely to have social problems. They are at risk for getting into fights at school. They are less likely to participate in social activities and extracurricular activities at school. Their grades and academic standings generally suffer when compared to their peers and they are more likely to miss days of school.
Help A Teen Who’s Drinking
Teen drinking is a scary thing. The legal drinking age is 21 for a good reason. Not even all adults are mature enough to drink responsibly. If you have a teen in your life with drinking habits that worry you, offer help and education. Teen alcohol abuse articles, for instance, can help you present and explain important information to a teen that drinks. If you can’t seem to make a difference, enlist some professional help to make sure the teen you care about gets his or her life back on track.
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