Teen Alcohol

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on teens and alcohol. 7,000 young people under 16 have their first drink of alcohol every day. Source: Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration, 2004 Want a referral to substance abuse treatment 24/7/365 call 1-800-662-HELP. It's run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Show & Tell

Legal Underage Drinking

Big allowances tied to teen alcohol abuse
Cars, Alcohol & Women Are Deadly Mix
Fight Teen Drinking Harder
"We Don’t Serve Teens"
China Mulls Ban on Alcohol, Tobacco Sales to Youths
Alcohol: Myths + Truths
Tips for Teens: The Truth About Alcohol
Alcohol Wholesalers Say Kids Get Alcohol from Internet
Using a Developmentally Sensitive Approach to Prevent Teen Drinking
Conn. Moves to Punish Parents Who Host Teen Drinking Parties
Study Says Youth Who Own Alcohol-Branded Items More Likely to Drink
Young Men Most Likely to Buy Alcohol for Underage Youth, Study Finds
Drunkeness Triples College Kids' Auto Injury Risk
Young Teens Who Drink Are at Risk for Problems in Late Adolescence and AdulthoodAlcohol's Benefits On Brain Power May Be Overstated
The Ultimate Do’s and Don’ts Guide for Talking to Your Kids about Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Teens Drink One-Fifth of U.S. Alcohol
Sobering Data On Student DWI Habits
Keeping Tabs On Teens May Curb Alcohol Use And Risks
Smoking, Drinking At School May Be Contagious For Teens
Alcohol Prevention for Middle Schoolers
Buzz Free Prom

Calif. Hearing Targets 'Alcopop' Marketing
Teens Drink One-Fifth of U.S. Alcohol
Parents are Clueless about Teen Parties and Drinking, Drug Use
Alcohol Memorials
Drinking Too Much

Misguided approach to teen drinking
Using a Developmentally Sensitive Approach to Prevent Teen Drinking
Drinking and Alcoholism
Effects of Alcohol
The Dangers of Alcohol
An Introduction to Alcohol
Why People Drink
Alcohol and Our Brains
Peer Pressure
Alcohol Questions from Kids
12 Steps for Kids
Drunk Driving Statistics & Facts
Related Issue:
Date Rape Drugs, Sleep Assault, More on Drinking And, even more on Drinking

Tips for Teens: The Truth About Alcohol

Slang terms: Booze, Sauce, Brews, Brewskis, Hooch, Hard Stuff, Juice

Get the Facts:

Alcohol affects your brain. Drinking excess alcohol leads to a loss of coordination, poor judgment, slowed reflexes, distorted vision, memory lapses, and even blackouts.

Alcohol affects your body. Alcohol can damage every organ in your body. It is absorbed directly into your bloodstream and can increase your risk for a variety of life-threatening diseases, including cancer.

Alcohol affects your self-control. Alcohol depresses your central nervous system, lowers your inhibitions, and impairs your judgment. Drinking can lead to risky behaviors, including having unprotected sex. This may expose you to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases or cause unwanted pregnancy.

Alcohol can kill you. Drinking large amounts of alcohol can lead to coma or even death. Also, in 1998, 35.8 percent of traffic deaths of 15- to 20-year-olds were alcohol-related.

Alcohol can hurt you -- even if you're not the one drinking. If you're around people who are drinking, you have an increased risk of being seriously injured, involved in car crashes, or affected by violence. At the very least, you may have to deal with people who are sick, out of control, or unable to take care of themselves.

Before You Risk It: Know the law. It is illegal to buy or possess alcohol if you are under 21.

More facts.

One drink can make you fail a breath test. In some states, people under the age of 21 who are found to have any amount of alcohol in their systems can lose their driver's license, be subject to a heavy fine, or have their car permanently taken away.

Stay informed. "Binge" drinking means having five or more drinks on one occasion. About 15 percent of teens are binge drinkers in any given month.

Know the risks. Mixing alcohol with medications or illicit drugs is extremely dangerous and can lead to accidental death. For example, alcohol-medication interactions may be a factor in at least 25 percent of emergency room admissions.

Keep your edge. Alcohol can make you gain weight and give you bad breath.

Look around you. Most teens aren't drinking alcohol. Research shows that 70 percent of people 12-20 haven't had a drink in the past month.

Know the Signs: How can you tell if a friend has a drinking problem? Sometimes it's tough to tell. But there are signs you can look for. If your friend has one or more of the following warning signs, he or she may have a problem with alcohol:

What can you do to help someone who has a drinking problem? Be a real friend. You might even save a life. Encourage your friend to stop or seek professional help. For information and referrals, call the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at 800-729-6686.

Questions & Answers:

1. Aren't beer and wine "safer" than liquor? No. One 12-ounce beer has about as much alcohol as a 1.5-ounce shot of liquor, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or a wine cooler.

2. Why can't teens drink if their parents can? Teens' bodies are still developing and alcohol has a greater impact on their physical and mental well-being. For example, people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who begin at age 21.

3. How can I say no to alcohol? I'm afraid I won't fit in. Remember, you're in good company. The majority of teens don't drink alcohol. Also, it's not as hard to refuse as you might think. Try: "No thanks," "I don't drink," or "I'm not interested."

Published By: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Source: alcoholscreening.org/learnmore/teens.asp

Fight Teen Drinking Harder

Underage drinking is a 53 billion dollar problem that needs society-wide treatment, including higher alcohol taxes and tougher sales laws, a new analysis says.
Source: www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/EMIHC251/333/24524/369135.html?d=dmtICNNews

Parents are Clueless about Teen Parties and Drinking, Drug Use

According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, parents are out of touch with reality concerning their views on teenage parties. In fact, 80% of parents believe that alcohol and pot are not available at their teens' parties. In an age where 8 out of 10 high school students have used alcohol, and 50% have used marijuana, parents need to "wise up." To read this story, click here:
Source: www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-08-16-teen-parties_x.htm

Police Chief Wants Drinking Age Lowered

The police chief in a town where underage college kids routinely break the law by drinking alcohol believes the drinking age should be lowered because it is unenforceable and detracts from policing more serious alcohol crimes like DUI.

Boulder, Colo., Police Chief Mark Beckner's viewpoint is one of several in a Lesley Stahl 60 Minutes report that examines the drinking law debate.

If the drinking age were lowered from 21 to 18, says Beckner, "The overall advantage is we're not trying to enforce a law that’s unenforceable."

"The abuse of alcohol and the over-consumption of alcohol and DUI driving...are the areas we’ve got to focus our efforts. Not on chasing kids around trying to give them a ticket for having a cup of beer in their hand," Beckner tells Stahl.

John McCardell, former president of Middlebury College in Vermont, agrees and points to what he considers an even worse effect of the older drinking age. "This law has been an abysmal failure. It hasn’t reduced or eliminated drinking. It has simply driven it underground, behind closed doors, into the most risky and least manageable of settings," says McCardell, who launched a national campaign to lower the drinking age.

A tragedy in Boulder underscores McCardell's point. At a fraternity near the campus of The University of Colorado at Boulder, 18-year-old Gordie Bailey died of alcohol poisoning during a fraternity initiation. His mother and stepfather feel the reason no one at the fraternity called authorities when their son passed out was fear of being caught breaking a law. "They had minors buying the alcohol, serving the alcohol to minors," says stepfather Michael Lanahan. "They had to make a decision about what they were going to do and unfortunately they made the wrong decision."

The drinking age was raised in the mid 1980s to help lower highway fatalities, but the Surgeon General estimates that 3,000 kids under 21 are dying of alcohol related deaths that do not involve driving.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving has another view. "The inconvenient truth is that a drinking age at 18 would cause more funerals. Nine hundred families a year would have to bury a teenager," predicts Chuck Hurley, executive director of MADD. "When the United States reduced its drinking age in the seventies it was a public health disaster. Death rates in the states that reduced their drinking age jumped 10 to 40 percent," he tells Stahl. Hurley also says the 18-year-olds - some still in high school - would be buying for their younger schoolmates creating a trickle-down effect of more drinking at earlier ages.

McCardell realizes lowering the age is a long shot, but still thinks that doing so, with mandatory education, is the best solution. Why not make high schools teach alcohol courses like driver's education and let them dispense drinking licenses because kids will drink either way, says McCardell. "We have lived through prohibition. We know prohibition doesn't work. We know that on our college campuses. We know that in our households. We know that in our military," McCardell tells Stahl.
Source: news.aol.com/article/drinking-age-lowered-dui/353317?icid=200100397x1219456940x1201286417

Alcohol Wholesalers Say Kids Get Alcohol from Internet

The trade association for the wine and liquor wholesalers industry -- a group that stands to lose big from direct sales of alcohol -- has released a study saying that 2 percent of 14- to 20-year-olds have purchased alcohol online.

Reuters reported Aug. 22 that a survey of 1,001 youths sponsored by the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) also reported that 12 percent of youths surveyed said they had friends who had bought alcohol online.

"This is a dangerous situation," said WSWA chair Stan Hastings. "For the first time, we have hard evidence that millions of kids are buying alcohol online and that the Internet is fast becoming a high-tech, low-risk way for kids to get beer, wine and liquor delivered to their home with no ID check.
Source: www.jointogether.org/news/headlines/inthenews/2006/alcohol-wholesalers-say-kids.html

Editor's Note: Then there are states like Oregon that actually have laws that support underage drinking and they have no intention of changing them. The legislature has also have made it so that local communities, cities or counties are not allowed, by law, to establish a wine, beer or liguor tax to pay for treatment program while, at the same time, the same legislature is cutting back on drug and alcohol treatment programs in the state. Because of this, it is expected that there will be an increase in child abuse.

Also, while a breathilizer may by used as evidence of under-age drinking, it cannot be used as evidence against adults. That sure makes me feel safer driving at night, especially as the bars close. It seems that the liquor and hospitality industries are responding by saying "Let's drink to that." Ever wonder who really writes these laws?

Other states permit officers to actually go into bars and arrest drunks. Some states are actually thinking of the innocent that could end up on the wrong end of the car or the fist if these drunk's can stumble behind the wheel on their way home. - Gordon Clay

Young Men Most Likely to Buy Alcohol for Underage Youth, Study Finds

Most underage drinkers get their alcohol from "social sources" -- people who buy them alcohol -- and a new study finds that young males are the most likely group to purchase alcohol on behalf of young drinkers.

Researcher Traci Toomey and colleagues at the University of Minnesota Prevention Research Center reported that young males are the most likely to go along with "shoulder tap" requests to buy alcohol for high-school students. Researchers randomly selected 219 alcohol outlets and sent underage-looking requesters to ask people outside the stores if they would purchase a six-pack of beer for them. They found that 8 percent of all adults agreed to make the purchase, but that 19 percent of young males (estimated ages 21-30) went along with the request.

"Although 19 percent may sound like a relatively low success rate, it means that a given youth has about an 80 percent probability of obtaining alcohol within eight attempts with randomly selected adults," said Toomey. "The actual success rate is probably higher because youth are most likely selective in who they approach and where."

Researchers suggested that young adult males should be targeted with prevention messages and warnings about providing alcohol to underage youth.

The study appears in the July 2007 issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.


Toomey, T.L., Fabian, L.E.A., Erickson, D.J., Lenk, K.M. (2007) Propensity for Obtaining Alcohol Through Shoulder Tapping. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 31(7): 1218–1223; doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2007.00420.x
Source: www.jointogether.org/news/research/summaries/2007/young-men-most-likely-to-buy.html

CT Moves to Punish Parents Who Host Teen Drinking Parties

After years of failure, a bill that imposes tougher penalties on parents who host underage-drinking parties has passed the Connecticut House of Representatives, the Stamford Advocate reported.

The bill, approved 123-23, is a compromise that allows misdemeanor, but not felony, charges to be filed against adults who knowingly allow anyone under age 21 to possess alcohol on their property. Even adult babysitters and others who have "dominion and control" over a property could be charged.

Also, the bill increases the penalty for minors in possession of alcohol from a fine of $200 to $500 for second offenses.

Police also would have increased power to enter homes to investigate underage drinking.

The measure now goes to the state Senate.
Source: www.jointogether.org/news/headlines/inthenews/2006/conn-moves-to-punish-parents.html

Calif. Hearing Targets 'Alcopop' Marketing

Flavored alcoholic malt beverages -- a.k.a. 'alcopops' -- appeal to children and often are packaged to closely resemble soda, witnesses told a California Senate panel.
Source: www.jointogether.org/news/headlines/inthenews/2006/calif-hearing-targets.html

Study Says Youth Who Own Alcohol-Branded Items More Likely to Drink

March 21, 2006 - A study of 2,000 middle-school students concluded that adolescents who owned alcohol-branded t-shirts and other items were more likely to drink than those who didn't own such merchandise, UPI reported March 20.

Dartmouth Medical School researchers said the study was the first to examine the relationship between alcohol merchandise and drinking. "Our research found that students who owned an alcohol-branded item were significantly more likely to have initiated alcohol use than students who did not own one," said lead researcher Dr. Auden McClure. "We recommend that parents discourage their children from wearing these products and that schools limit the display of alcohol-branded items among students."

The study, which involved students ages 10 to 14, was published in the April 2006 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Source: McClure, A. C., Dal Cin, S., Gibson, J., and Sargent, J. D. (2006) Ownership of Alcohol-Branded Merchandise and Initiation of Teen Drinking. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 30(4): 277-283. www.jointogether.org/news/research/summaries/2006/study-says-youth-who-own.html

Lowering the Drinking Age in New Zealand Increases Car Crashes Among Youth

According to a study based on data from New Zealand, lowering the drinking age increases car crashes among youth. The drinking age was lowered from 20 to 18 in 1999. The study found that the rate of traffic crashes and injuries increased 12% for 18-19 year old males and 14% among 15-17 year old males comparing the four years before and after the New Zealand legislature lowered the drinking age to 18. For females, rates rose 51% for 18-19 year olds and 24% for 15-17 year olds. The study estimated that 400 serious injuries and 12 deaths each year among 15-19 year olds could be prevented if New Zealand raised their minimum legal drinking age.

There is no traffic safety policy with more evidence for its effectiveness than minimum legal drinking age laws, according to Robert B. Voas, one of the study's authors. Traffic crashes by young drivers were declining in New Zealand when that country decided to lower its drinking age. Thereafter, the overall road toll for those drivers rose dramatically. Most remarkable was the trickle-down effect that was seen in the 15- to 17-year-olds, Voas said. Clearly, they're getting alcohol from older friends.

People in the United States who argue for lowering the drinking age should pay attention. Currently, there are five U.S. States that have legislation pending to lower their minimum legal drinking age. The outcomes found in the New Zealand study are similar to those from the United States after drinking ages were lowered in many states the early 1970s. A number of studies on the effects of those drinking age changes showed a substantial increase in traffic crashes involving young people. Today, all 50 states have a minimum 21 drinking age.

This study was published in the January 2006 edition of the Journal of American Public Health. The study was authored by Kypros Kypri, Robert B. Voas, John D. Langley, Shaun C.R. Stephenson, Dorothy J. Begg, A. Scott Tippetts, and Gabrielle S. Davie.

Reprinted from the Winter 2006 issue of the Reporter, the newsletter of the International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety.

Source: Kypri, K., Voas, R.B., Langley, J.D., Stephenson, S.C.R., Begg, D.J., Tippets, A.S., & Davie, G.S. (2006). Minimum Purchasing Age for Alcohol and Traffic Crash Injuries Among 15- to 19-Year-Olds in New Zealand. American Journal of Public Health, 96(1), 126-131. www.jointogether.org/news/research/summaries/2006/lowering-the-drinking-age-in.html

Teens Drink One-Fifth of U.S. Alcohol

Underage drinkers account for nearly 20 percent of the alcohol consumed in the United States each year, a study says.

Attempting to correct botched statistics they released a year ago, researchers from Columbia University's National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse analyzed three sets of data from 1999 and said underage drinking amounted to 19.7 percent of alcohol consumed that year, or $22.5 billion. The previous estimate - now discredited - was 25 percent.

''Excessive'' drinking by adults - consumption of more than two drinks daily - amounted to 30.4 percent, or $34.4 billion, the researchers said. Their definition of excessive drinking is similar to the government's.

''These analyses show that it is not in the alcohol industry's financial interest to voluntarily enact strategies to reduce underage or adult excessive drinking,'' the researchers said.

The Columbia center is an advocacy group led by Joseph Califano Jr., a former U.S. secretary of health, education and welfare who has been an outspoken critic of alcohol marketers.

The group issued a report last year saying that young people ages 12 through 20 consume 25 percent of the nation's alcohol, a figure based on the 1998 National Household Survey of Drug Abuse. Critics questioned the statistics, and Califano's group acknowledged it failed to adjust its figures to reflect teens' percentage of the nation's population.

The new analysis appears in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.

It included data from the 1999 version of the household survey, which involved more than 50,000 people aged 12 and older questioned at home. It also included data from two surveys of youngsters 12 and older who were questioned at school.

Representatives of the alcohol industry called the new study as faulty as the old one, and questioned the researchers' definition of excessive adult drinking.

The government agency that conducts the household survey, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, has estimated the percentage of alcohol consumed by youngsters at 11.4 percent.

Califano's figure is higher because he based it on different sources, and his research seems sound, said Charles Curie, administrator of the agency.

''I give them credit that they wanted to clarify the figures,'' Curie said.

Source: Lindsey Tanner


What is the BuzzFree Prom?

This is MADD’s new high school initiative to acknowledge the millions of young people who make responsible choices and encourage others to do the same during Prom season.

A BuzzFree Prom School Kit includes powerful safety posters, a compelling 15 minute BuzzFree Prom DVD narrated by Miss Teen USA, a giant signing banner featuring the MADD “PROMise to Keep it Safe,” BuzzFree ID Cards, pledge sheets, even BuzzFree buttons. The BuzzFree Prom website encourages prom goers as well as high schools, MADD chapters, sponsors and parents to purchase kits, download fundraising guides, safety tips and more. It is easy to order, and even simpler to implement.
Source: www.madd.org/under21/0,1056,1168,00.html

Sign the MADD "PROMise To Keep It Safe" pledging to remain alcohol-free on prom night. In return for your responsible choice, receive a BuzzFree ID to get great prom discounts and incentives (offers available vary by market).
Source: www.buzzfreeprom.com/students/students_pledge.html

Ways to Have Fun without Drinking

Source: www.madd.org/under21/0,1056,1168,00.html

Lowering the Drinking Age in New Zealand Increases Car Crashes Among Youth

According to a study based on data from New Zealand, lowering the drinking age increases car crashes among youth.
Source: www.jointogether.org/news/research/summaries/2006/lowering-the-drinking-age-in.html


Study Says Youth Who Own Alcohol-Branded Items More Likely to Drink

A study of 2,000 middle-school students concluded that adolescents who owned alcohol-branded t-shirts and other items were more likely to drink than those who didn't own such merchandise.
Source: www.jointogether.org/news/research/summaries/2006/study-says-youth-who-own.html

Drunkeness Triples College Kids' Auto Injury Risk

It also greatly raises risks for falls, sexual abuse, study finds.
Source: www.healthcentral.com/newsdetail/408/525819.html

Sobering Data On Student DWI Habits

In the March 4 issue of CMAJ, Dr. Edward Adlaf and colleagues present data from the 2001 Ontario Student Drug Use Survey, which indicate that 31.9 percent of 1846 Ontario students surveyed admitted to being a passenger in a car driven by a drunk driver in 2001.
Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal,www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/333/8895/361838.html

Keeping Tabs On Teens May Curb Alcohol Use And Risks

Adolescents whose parents closely monitor their activities are less likely to use alcohol or to be in risky situations involving alcohol, suggests new research published in the American Journal of Health Behavior.
Source: Center for the Advancement of Health, www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/333/8895/361561.html

Smoking, Drinking At School May Be Contagious For Teens

Teens are more likely to share smoking and drinking habits with their peers when they attend schools with a relatively large number of students who use tobacco or alcohol, according to a new study.
Source: Center for the Advancement of Health, www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/333/8895/361560.html

Alcohol Memorials

The Partnership has created a new Memorial website, www.drugfree.org/memorials to give families and friends a special place to remember loved ones lost to drugs and alcohol. Our new site (which is not final and in a testing phase) allows visitors to share their story along with photos and memories and offers a reflecting-pool design, easy-to-use forms, and a tool for friends and family to leave tribute messages. Please tell others about this new site so we can reach as many kids and parents as possible.

Teen Marines Allowed to Drink

Putting aside the nationwide age-21 drinking law, Marine Corps officials are allowing service members ages 18 and older to drink alcohol during special occasions at Camp Pendleton and other Marine facilities.

Putting aside the nationwide age-21 drinking law, Marine Corps officials are allowing service members ages 18 and older to drink alcohol during special occasions at Camp Pendleton and other Marine facilities, the North County Times reported.

The policy change will allow young Marines to drink during welcome-home parties after combat deployments and during the annual Marine Corps birthday celebration, among other events. The new rules also will allow Marines ages 18-20 to drink alcohol during port calls where the drinking age is lower than in the U.S. Other branches of the U.S. armed services already allow soldiers and sailors under age 21 to drink overseas.

Marine officials and the California attorney general failed to reply to media inquiries about whether the policy violated Defense Department policy or state alcohol laws. A 1995 DoD policy states that drinking rules should comply with local state laws.

Individual Marines said that while they appreciated the rule change, the policy would have little practical effect, since most young Marines drink, anyway. But opponents and even some supporters of the policy worried that young drinkers might get themselves in trouble off base.

"We would hate to see a mother or father lose their child here on American soil in an alcohol-related crash or injure somebody else while impaired," said San Diego Mothers Against Drunk Driving executive director Pat Hodgkin.
Source: www.jointogether.org/news/headlines/inthenews/2007/teen-marines-allowed-to-drink.html (Editor's note: The first thing we did when we finished basic training was go to the bar on base and drink. If we were old enough to kill, why not be old enough to drink, was the theory.)

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First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you. - F. Scott Fitgerald

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