Underage Drinking Dangers
There are 4,300 reasons to keep kids under age 21 away from alcohol. Every year, we lose that many to drinking’s fatal effects on this vulnerable age group. Another 189,000 require ER visits, thousands are arrested or become victims of crime, and too many commit suicide – all as a result of underage drinking.
Considering the enormous risks to our young people when they consume alcohol – which is, of course, illegal for anyone under age 21 – we want to remind parents to talk to children about the dangers of underage drinking and to enforce the drinking age in your own home. We’ve all heard of the supposedly “cool” parents who provide or permit underage drinking in their homes, but really cool parents know that even supervised drinking by minors can lead to alcohol poisoning, altered brain development, and a six times greater chance of developing alcohol dependence or abuse later in life. Add recent court cases holding parents liable for the ill effects of alcohol on children in their home, and it’s clear that parents who host lose the most.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, so Carrier Clinic® encourages you to talk to your kids and their friends’ parents about underage drinking. For tips, visit the SAMHSA “Talk. They Hear You.” page.
Remember, underage drinking is an adult problem. In order for teens to get alcohol, an adult somewhere broke the law. We encourage you to advocate for strict adherence to the 21 drinking age. If you’re concerned about a young person in your life, help them get the help they need by calling our 24/7 Access Center at 800-933-3579.
For more information on dependency to alcohol or other drugs, we invite you to read our clinical paper and view a video on the subject in our Information Center.