Problem of Underage Drinking
Rates of underage drinking in the United States are high. See the latest statistics.
Underage drinking has severe consequences, including:
- Injury or death from accidents
- Unintended, unwanted, or unprotected sexual activity
- Academic problems
- Drug use
Also, alcohol can harm the developing brain.
Importance of Parents
Research shows that parents are the leading influence on their child’s decisions about alcohol. Although it may not seem like it, when parents talk about underage drinking, their children do hear them.
9–15: A Crucial Age
To prevent young people from starting to drink, the campaign focuses on ages 9–15. Around 9, children begin thinking alcohol may not be just for adults. By 15, many young people are drinking. Young people who start drinking before age 15 are five times more likely to develop alcohol problems as adults than those who begin drinking at 21 or older.
The “Talk. They Hear You.” campaign aims to:
- Increase parents’ awareness of the prevalence and risk of underage drinking
- Equip parents with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to prevent underage drinking
- Increase parents’ actions to prevent underage drinking