Underage DrinkingUnderage drinking is a leading public health problem in this country.
Research & Statistics
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- The Connecticut School Health Survey
The Connecticut School Health Survey (CSHS) is comprised of the Youth Tobacco Component (YTC) (PDF) and the Youth Behavior Component (YBC) (PDF). These two school surveys have been co-administered since 2005. The YTC is a school-based survey of students in grades 6 - 12, with randomly chosen classrooms within selected schools, and is anonymous and confidential. The YBC is also a school-based survey of students, but only of high-school grades 9 - 12 and it, too, is anonymous and confidential.
- The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)
The YRBSS monitors health risk behaviors in youth that contribute to leading causes of death, disability and social problems. Monitored behaviors include: tobacco use, diet, physical activity, alcohol and drug use, sexual behavior, and behaviors that contribute to unintentional injury or violence.
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Alcohol is the drug of choice among youth. Many young people are experiencing the consequences of drinking too much, at too early an age. As a result, underage drinking is a leading public health problem in this country. Each year, approximately 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking; this includes about 1,900 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 as a result of homicides, 300 from suicide, as well as hundreds from other injuries such as falls, burns, and drownings.
People who begin drinking early in life run the risk of developing serious alcohol problems, including alcoholism, later in life. They also are at greater risk for a variety of adverse consequences, including risky sexual activity and poor performance in school.
Identifying adolescents at greatest risk can help stop problems before they develop. And innovative, comprehensive approaches to prevention are showing success in reducing experimentation with alcohol as well as the problems that accompany alcohol use by young people.
Source: Alcohol Alert, January 2006, No. 67: Underage Drinking (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)