Underage drinking costs Americans nearly
$53 billion annually. If this cost were shared equally by each congressional
district, the amount would total more than $120 million per district.
- Costs of Underage Drinking, Pacific
Institute for Research and Evaluation, 1999.
Alcohol is a factor in the four
leading causes of death among persons ages 10 to 24: (1) motor-vehicle
crashes, (2) unintentional injuries, (3) homicide, and (4) suicide.
- Kann, L., et al. (2000). Youth Risk Behavior
Surveillance - United States, 1999. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report,
vol. 49(SS05): 1-96.
• A Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) report shows one-fourth of all traffic deaths among
children (under age 15) involved alcohol. Children were most often in
a car driven by a drunk driver and unrestrained.
- Alcohol-related Traffic Fatalities Involving
Children — United States, 1985-1996," MMWR, December 5, 1997;
Approximately 9.7 million
current drinkers in the United States are between the ages of 12-20.
Of these young drinkers, 18.7% in binge drinking and 6% are heavy drinkers.
- Summary of Findings from the 2000
National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, September 2001.
• 56% of students in grades
5 through 12 say that alcohol advertising encourages them to drink.
- "Underage Drinking Information
Parents Need to Know," MADD; http://www.madd.org/UNDER21/youth_issues.shtml
On average, young people begin drinking at 13.1 years of age.
- National Household Survey on Drug
Abuse: Main Findings 1998, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Girls are beginning to drink
at younger ages. In the 1960s, 7% of 10- to 14-year-old females used
alcohol; by the early 1990’s, that figure had risen to 31%.
- National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, Substance Abuse Among Women
in the U.S. United States Department of Health and Human Services, 1996.Addiction
and Substance Abuse, Columbia University, 1999.
By the time they are high school seniors, 80% have used alcohol
and 62% have been drunk.
- Monitoring the Future Study National
Survey Results on Drug Use, 1975-2000 , University of Michigan, August
Young people who begin drinking
before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence
than those who begin drinking at age 21
- Grant, B.F., & Dawson, D. A. (1997).
Age at Onset of Alcohol Use and its Association with DSM-IV Alcohol
Abuse and Dependence: Results from the National Longitudinal Alcohol
Epidemiologic Survey. Journal of Substance Abuse, vol. 9, p. 103-110.
More than 67% of young people who start
drinking before the age of 15 will try an illicit drug. Children who
drink are 7.5 times more likely to use any illicit drug, more than 22
times more likely to use marijuana, and 50 times more likely to use
cocaine than children who never drank.
- Cigarettes, Alcohol, Marijuana:
Gateways to Illicit Drug Use, Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse,
Columbia University, 1994.
Teens under 15 who have ever consumed alcohol are twice as likely
to have sex as those who have not. Nearly 4 in 10 (39%) sexually active
teens who use alcohol have had sexual intercourse with four or more
- Dangerous Liaisons: Substance Abuse
and Sex, Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Columbia University,