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Teen Alcohol Statistics

Current teen alcohol statistics and alarming trends teenage alcohol statistics reveal. Includes teen alcohol statistics on binge drinking, more.

Teen alcohol statistics show that although drinking alcohol under the age of 21 is illegal in the U.S., it is commonplace given that 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States is consumed by those aged 12 to 20. By the end of high school, teenage alcohol statistics tell us that 72% of students will have consumed alcohol.vi

And while teenaged alcohol drinking may be common, it's important to remember teen alcohol statistics stating that those who started drinking before age 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol addiction or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21.vii

Teenage alcohol statistics also indicate the following:

  • About 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinking
  • The proportion of current drinkers that binge is highest in the 18 to 20-year-old group (51%)
  • In teens, 30.8% paid for the alcohol the last time they drank - including 8.3% who purchased the alcohol themselves and 22.3% who gave money to someone else to purchase it
  • Among teenagers who did not pay for the alcohol they drank, 37.4% got it from an unrelated person of legal drinking age; 21.1% received it from a parent, guardian, or other adult family member

Teen Alcohol Statistics - Risks of Teen Alcohol Use Statistics

Teenagers who drink alcohol are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as drinking and driving as well as getting in the car of a driver who has been drinking. Teen alcohol statistics show that risks are greater for those who binge drink.

Through teenage alcohol statistics, we know that teens who drink alcohol are more likely to experience:

  • School problems, such as higher absence and poor or failing grades
  • Social problems, such as fighting and lack of participation in youth activities
  • Legal problems, such as arrest for driving or physically hurting someone while drunk
  • Physical effects of alcochol, such as hangovers or illnesses
  • Unwanted, unplanned, and unprotected sexual activity
  • Disruption of normal growth and sexual development
  • Physical and sexual assault
  • Higher risk for suicide and homicide (read: alcoholism and suicide)
  • Alcohol-related car crashes and other unintentional injuries, such as burns, falls, and drowning
  • Memory problems (read: effect of alcohol on memory)
  • Abuse of other drugs
  • Changes in brain development that may have life-long effects
  • Death from alcohol poisoning

article references


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next: Short-Term, Long-Term Effects of Alcohol
~ all alcohol addiction articles
~ all articles on addictions

Last Updated: 20 June 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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