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Underage Drinking

Underage drinking is a leading public health problem in this country.

Research & Statistics

  • PubMedPubMed comprises more than 20 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.
  • SAMHSA DataIncludes Emergency Department data, substance abuse facilities data, client level data, population data and more.
  • Societal Costs Of Underage Drinking 10 pages, pdf Published by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, this study examines the costs resulting from underage drinking - including crime, injury, disease - and compares those costs associated with alcohol sales.
  • The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) Research ReportsReports focus on youth exposure to alcohol advertising across various media.
  • The Connecticut School Health Surveyhe 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 Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study (CAS) CAS is an ongoing survey of over 14,000 students at 120 four-year colleges in 40 states. The site includes research abstracts, reports, and links to websites related to information about alcohol.
  • 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.

  • Underage Drinking Research Initiative - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism (NIAAA)Includes links to reports and surveys, and lists selected research literature.

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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)