Facts About Youth and Alcohol
Approximately 11 million American youth under the age of 21 drink alcohol. Nearly half of them drink to excess, consuming five or more drinks in a row, one or more times in a two week period.
Alcohol is the most frequently used drug by high school seniors, and its use is increasing. Boys usually try alcohol for the first time at just 11 years old, while the average age for American girls' first drink is 13. In short, our nation's youth are flirting with disaster. Consider the facts:
- Underage drinking is a factor in nearly half of all teen automobile crashes, the leading cause of death among teenagers.
- Alcohol use contributes to youth suicides, homicides and fatal injuries – the leading cause of death among youth after auto crashes.
- Alcohol abuse is linked to as many as two-thirds of all sexual assaults and date rapes of teens and college students.
- Alcohol is a major factor in unprotected sex among youth, increasing their risk of contracting HIV or other transmitted diseases.
Minimum legal drinking age
A brief history of the minimum legal drinking age, as well as a list of references and research findings.
Alcohol and driving
With no improvement in current safety performance and expected yearly increases in travel, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) projects that deaths and injuries due to alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes could increase by 50 percent by the year 2020.