Alcohol Information for Teens: Health Tips About Alcohol and by Lisa Bakewell

By Lisa Bakewell

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Alterations in brain development that may have consequences reaching far beyond adolescence Alcohol is a leading contributor to injury death, the main cause of death for people under age 21. Annually, about 5,000 youth under age 21 die from alcohol-related injuries that involve underage drinking. This includes injuries sustained in motor vehicle crashes (about 1,900), homicides (about 1,600), and suicides (about 300), as well as unintentional injuries not related to motor vehicle crashes. Furthermore, the role of alcohol in both fatalities and injuries may be significantly underreported, in part because in many states, alcohol involvement in an injury relieves insurance providers of liability for medical expenses, so health care providers may not ask victims about, or report, alcohol use.

Underage alcohol use can lead to dangerous behavior, property damage, and violence. • The results can be injury and even death for the drinker and for other people nearby. Underage Drinking: Adverse Consequences 45 • About 45% of people who die in car crashes involving a drinking driver under age 21 are people other than the driver. The effects of underage drinking can be felt by everyone. That makes underage alcohol use everyone’s problem. Changing Attitudes About Underage Drinking It’s time to change how we all think, talk, and act when it comes to underage drinking.

Underage Drinking: Adverse Consequences 45 • About 45% of people who die in car crashes involving a drinking driver under age 21 are people other than the driver. The effects of underage drinking can be felt by everyone. That makes underage alcohol use everyone’s problem. Changing Attitudes About Underage Drinking It’s time to change how we all think, talk, and act when it comes to underage drinking. We need to stop accepting it and to start discouraging it. It’s time for young people to understand that it is not okay for them to drink alcohol.

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