How to Recognize the Signs of Underage Drinking
Anyone who interacts with young people should pay close attention to the warning signs that may indicate underage drinking. Some of these warning signs include:
Tragic health, social, and economic problems result from the use of alcohol by youth. Underage drinking is a causal factor in a host of serious problems, including homicide, suicide, traumatic injury, drowning, burns, violent and property crime, high risk sex, fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol poisoning, and need for treatment for alcohol abuse and dependence.
A report released by Health First Wisconsin says binge drinking costs the state about $6.8 billion a year. This is the price of health care, lost productivity, crime, and premature death, and taxpayers are picking up more than 40 percent of the cost, that’s about $1,200 a person.
Youth learn their culture of drinking from the behavior that adults are modeling around them.
For more information, visit http://www.udetc.org/factsheets/WI.pdf
Health Risks of Underage Drinking
5,000 people under age 21 die each year from alcohol-related car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning, and other injuries such as falls, burns, and drowning.
More than 190,000 people under age 21 visited an emergency room for alcohol-related injuries in 2008 alone.
Drinking can cause kids to make poor decisions, which can then result in risky behavior like drinking and driving, sexual activity, or violence.
Increased risk for physical and sexual assault
Youth who drink are more likely to carry out or be the victim of a physical or sexual assault.
Brain development problems
Research shows that brain development continues well into a person’s twenties. Alcohol can affect this development, and contribute to a range of problems.