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Underage Drinking on the Decline

According to researchers at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the rate of underage drinking has dropped by about six percent in the last eleven years. Apparently their data reported a drop of 28.8% of teens reporting to drink underage in 2002 to only 22.7% in 2013.

However, SAMHSA is still concerned for the 8.7 million current underage drinkers and the 5.4 million current underage binge drinkers and for good reason.

On average, American girls are having their first alcoholic beverage at 13, while boys are having it at age 11. Underage drinking is not only a problem, but it also carried serious consequences. Individuals who start drinking before 21 are often more likely to be involved in violent crimes, attempt suicide, engage in unprotected sex and are more likely to develop substance and alcohol problems later in life. Not to mention the fact that alcohol has become a major contributor to fatal automobile crashes and the fact that many teenage girls are put at risk to sexual assaults and rape when they drink.

With luck however, the trend of underage drinking being on the decline will continue.

About Emily Hersey

Emily Hersey

Emily is an African Studies and History student who loves reading, the gym, hip hop and horses. If she’s not working on her latest research project, she’s definitely working towards her next trip to South Africa and doing her Master’s degree there.
Contact Emily: emily.hersey@youthindependent.com