BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuRisks of underage drinkingRisky drinking - teen; Alcohol - underage drinking; Problem underage drinking; Underage drinking - risksAlcohol use is not only an adult problem. Most American high school seniors have had an alcoholic drink within the past month. Drinking can lead to risky and dangerous behaviors.Alcohol Use and TeenagersPuberty and the teenage years are a time of change. Your child may have just started high school or just gotten a driver's license. They may have a sense of freedom they never had before. Teenagers are curious. They want to explore and do things their own way. But pressure to fit in might make it hard to resist alcohol if it seems like everyone else is trying it. The Best Time to Begin TalkingWhen a child begins drinking before age 15, they are much more likely to become a long-term drinker, or problem drinker. About 1 in 5 teens are considered problem drinkers. This means they:Get drunk Have accidents related to drinking Get into trouble with the law, their families, friends, schools, or the people they date The best time to begin talking with your teen about drugs and alcohol is now. Children as young as 9 years old may become curious about drinking and they may even try alcohol.Talking with your teen about drugs and ...As a parent, it is natural to worry about your teenager. And, like many parents, you may be afraid that your teen may try drugs, or worse, become de...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Alcohol can Cause Injury or DeathDrinking can lead to making decisions that cause harm. Alcohol use means any of the following are more likely to occur: Car crashes Falls, drowning, and other accidents Suicide Violence and homicide Being a victim of violent crime Risky Sexual BehaviorAlcohol use can lead to risky sexual behavior. This increases the risk for:Sexually transmitted infections Unwanted pregnancy Sexual assault or rape Drinking and SchoolOver time, too much alcohol damages brain cells. This can lead to behavior problems and lasting damage to memory, thinking, and judgment. Teens who drink tend to do poorly in school and their behaviors may get them into trouble.Health Problems Related to AlcoholThe effects of long-term alcohol use on the brain may be lifelong. Drinking also creates a higher risk for depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.DepressionOne in five teenagers have depression at some point. Your teen may be depressed if they are feeling sad, blue, unhappy, or down in the dumps. Depre...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Drinking during puberty can also change hormones in the body. This can disrupt growth and puberty.Too much alcohol at one time can cause serious injury or death from alcohol poisoning. This can occur with having as few as 4 drinks within 2 hours.Alcohol poisoningEthanol poisoning is caused by drinking too much alcohol. This article is for information only. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual poison ex...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Get Help for Your ChildIf you think your child is drinking but will not talk with you about it, get help. Your child's health care provider may be a good place to start. Other resources include: Local hospitals Public or private mental health agencies Counselors at your child's school Student health centers Programs such as SMART Recovery Help for Teens and Young Adults or Alateen, part of the Al-Anon programOpen ReferencesReferencesAmerican Psychiatric Association. Substance-related and addictive disorders. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2013:481-590.Bo A, Hai AH, Jaccard J. Parent-based interventions on adolescent alcohol use outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018;191:98-109. PMID: 30096640 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30096640/.Gilligan C, Wolfenden L, Foxcroft DR, et al. Family-based prevention programmes for alcohol use in young people. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019;3(3):CD012287. PMID: 30888061 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30888061/.National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Alcohol screening and brief intervention for youth: a practitioner's guide. www.niaaa.nih.gov/sites/default/files/publications/YouthGuide.pdf. Updated February 2019. Accessed April 9, 2020.AllVideoImagesTogSelf Care Risks of underage drinkingTalking to your teen about drinkingRelated Information Review Date: 4/9/2020 Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.