10 Risks Teens Take When They Drink Alcohol

Parents Need to Be Aware of What Can Happen When Teens Drink

Four Young Women Drinking
Four Young Women Drinking. Fuse

While alcohol is legal for adults, it is still a very powerful drug that can cause teens and your family serious problems, from the inability to function in everyday life to the most severe -- death.

In fact, excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage drinkers each year, and 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States is by people under the age of 21, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The Risks Teens Take When They Drink Alcohol:

  • Dying in A Car Crash: Alcohol-related traffic crashes are a major cause of death among young people.
  • Long-Term Effects: The adolescent brain is still developing throughout the teen years. New research on teens with alcohol disorders shows that heavy drinking in the teen years can cause long-lasting harm to thinking abilities and moods.
  • Engaging in Unprotected Sex: Teens who use alcohol are more likely to be sexually active at earlier ages, to have sexual intercourse more often and to have unprotected sex than teens who do not drink.
  • Becoming a Crime Victim: Young people who drink are more likely than others to be victims of violent crime, including rape, aggravated assault and robbery.
  • Altered Perception: Alcohol alters a person's perceptions, emotions, movement, vision and hearing. This makes it very dangerous for a teen to be at a party, become intoxicated and then try to get home.
  • Failing in School: Teens who drink are more likely to have problems with school work and school conduct.
  • Binge Drinking: The majority of boys and girls who drink tend to binge (5 or more drinks on an occasion for boys and 4 or more on an occasion for girls) when they drink.
  • Committing Suicide: Teen alcohol abuse is a leading cause of death in people under 21. This includes homicides, suicides, falls and toxic poisoning.
  • Becoming an Alcoholic: A person who begins drinking as a young teen is four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than someone who waits until adulthood to use alcohol.
  • Losing Friends: Loss of a your teen's positive peer group can result. Teens who drink tend to act stupid and say or do things they later regret. This leads to losing good friends who don't drink.

The risks of teens drinking often seem so harsh that parents ignore them or tend to believe that their teen will avoid all of these problems. Don't be that parent. Learn what you can about teen’s and drinking, then do what you can to prevent these things from happening to your teen and in your family.


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