The Facts on Underage Drinking in America
Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States, more than tobacco and illicit drugs and is responsible for more than 4,300 annual deaths among underage youth. Underage drinking attracts many developing adolescents and teens; they often don’t realize the damaging effects drinking can have on their own lives.
- People aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States (CDC).
- In the past 30 days, 26.4% of underage persons (ages 12-20) used alcohol, and binge drinking among the same age group was 17.4%. (SAMHSA)
- Alcohol use remains extremely widespread among today’s teenagers. Nearly three quarters of students (72%) have consumed alcohol (more than just a few sips) by the end of high school, and more than a third (37%) have done so by eighth grade (NIDA)
- Underage drinking is associated with school problems, such as higher absence and poor or failing grades. Social problems, such as fighting and lack of participation in youth activities and a higher risk for physical and sexual assault, suicide and homicide.