Underage Drinking Is a Big Problem
Today, nearly 10.8 million kids between age 12 and 20 drink alcohol. At least 10% of 12 year olds have had at least one full alcoholic drink.
- By age 13 that number doubles.
- By age 15 approximately 50% have had at least one drink.
- When kids drink, they drink an average of 5 drinks on a single occasion. This is called binge drinking.
- Drinking under the age of 21 is against the law and kids and their parents can be prosecuted.
Teenagers Are Particularly Vulnerable to Alcohol
Because the teen brain is going through dramatic growth and development, alcohol can cause widespread and long term damage to the brain.
The earlier a person is exposed to alcohol, the greater the chance of alcoholism later in life.
Teens are wired for risk and excitement, and they are vulnerable to media and peer pressure.
The Results of Underage Drinking Are Grave:
Each year over 5,000 people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking.
This includes car crashes, homicide, suicide, accidents and alcohol poisoning.
Alcohol is associated with increased physical and sexual assaults, unprotected sex, academic problems, and health problems.
Underage Binge Drinking is a Health Crisis in Marin County:
Marin County has one of the highest rate of underage binge drinking in California.
35% of Marin County 11th graders have consumed 5 or more drinks in a few hours in the past 30 days.
85% of11th graders say alcohol is “easy to get.” Most drinking is done at parties, and most teens get their alcohol from adults, including their parents.
We Can Change This:
In a nationwide survey, fully three-fourths of children ages 12-17 identified their parents as their leading influence. Talk – they do listen to us.
The Surgeon General has issued a Call To Action to protect our children by preventing underage drinking.
Marin County law enforcement, schools, community organizations and a growing number of parents are already addressing this problem.
Please join us in this effort, you can help make a difference.