Alcohol’s Harmful Effects

  • Alcohol kills 6.5 times more young people than all other illegal drugs combined.
  • Youth who drink alcohol are 7.5 times more likely to use drugs, more than 22 times more likely to use marijuana, and 50 times more likely to use cocaine than youth who never drank.
  • An adolescent's central nervous system and brain are not yet fully developed and are especially sensitive to alcohol and other drugs. Addiction happens much faster.
  • Underage drinking is the leading cause of adult alcoholism.
  • National data reveals more than 16,500 traffic deaths have been averted since states started raising the minimum drinking age to 21.
  • Youth who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than youth who wait until 21.
  • Use of alcohol is associated with most other drug use and is highly correlated with violence, fighting, negative attitudes, academic failure and poor health practices.
  • In more than half of all homicides, the perpetrator, the victim or both have been drinking.
  • Every day, more than 5,400 young people in the U.S. younger than 15 take their first drink of alcohol. (National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2004)
  • More youth in Texas drink alcohol than smoke tobacco or marijuana. (TDSHS 2006)
  • Binge drinking, defined as having five or more drinks on one occasion, was reported by 23% of secondary students. (TDSHS 2004)
  • Average age of first use of alcohol is 13.9 years. Youth who begin drinking alcohol before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol-related problems and alcohol dependency.
  • 24% of high school seniors reported driving while intoxicated; 18% high on other drugs. (TDSHS 2004)
  • Hispanics had the highest percentage of current alcohol use at 36.2%, followed by Anglo students (33%) and African-Americans (27%).
  • Youth who said that their parents disapproved of teens using substances were less likely to use substances than those who said their parents approved or were neutral. Only 19% of all secondary students whose parents strongly or mildly disapproved of their drinking beer actually drank in the month before the 2004 survey, compared to 50% of those whose parents strongly or mildly approved and 47% of those who reported their parents as neutral. (TDSHS 2004)
Above the Influence Alcohols Harmful Effects


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