Underage Drinking Fact Sheet
Today, underage drinking is almost as common as legal drinking. Due to the popularity of underage drinking, it has become a serious issue among young people in the United States. In the United States an estimated 10 million kids under the age of 21 drank alcohol in the past month. Alcohol is the number one commonly used and abused substance among young people in the United States, even more than tobacco. Not only that, but alcohol is the main factor in 4,700 deaths per year among underage youth. Underage drinking is so common that 12 to 20 year olds consumed 11% of all the alcohol in the United States. Underage drinkers normally drink more drinks per drinking occasion than adult drinkers. In 2010 alone, there were around 189,000 ER visits by kids under the age of 21 for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol.
The 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that among high school students, during the past 30 days:
- 39% drank some amount of alcohol.
- 22% binge drank.
- 8% drove after drinking alcohol.
- 24% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.
- In 2011 the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 25% of youth aged 12 to 20 years drink alcohol and 16% reported binge drinking.7
- In 2011, the Monitoring the Future Survey reported that 33% of 8th graders and 70% of 12th graders had tried alcohol, and 13% of 8th graders and 40% of 12th graders drank during the past month.
Underage drinking is scary enough without adding in the binge factor. Underage binge drinking happens frequently and is very dangerous. The health problems, risk of death, and of addiction is much higher in “underagers” who binge drink than it is in young adults and children who don’t drink at all or who don’t engage in binge drinking.
Binge drinking means to consume a lot of alcohol really fast with the intention of getting drunk.
Here are some more statistics on underage binge drinking:
- 5% of 8th graders reported binge drinking in the past 30 days.
- 16% of 10th graders reported binge drinking in the past 30 days.
- 24% of 12th graders reported binge drinking in the past 30 days.
- 40% of college students reported binge drinking in the past 30 days.
So where and how does underage drinking happen? Everyone is in agreement, that today’s kids and young adults get alcohol from their friends and family and most likely drink at parties.
- 71% of underage drinkers said they drink at parties with no parents
- 61% said they drink at a friend’s house where there are no parents
- 48% said they drink at a party in a remote location
- 43% said they underage drink at a party with the parents at home
- 34% of underage drinking happens at events
- 31% at home
- 27% at a bar or club
- 23% in their car
- 22% in the parking lot
- 40% of underage drinkers said other
- 65% of youth or underage drinkers said they get alcohol from friends and family.
- 7% of underage drinkers said they get it from a store or bar that doesn’t check ID.
- 5% of underage drinkers said they get it from strangers
- 3% of underage drinkers own a fake ID
- 20% of underage drinkers answered something other than this or don’t know.
If your loved one is in need of alcohol detox or treatment for alcoholism please give us a call at 800-951-6135.