Let’s Talk: Alcohol and Youth: What’s the Big Deal?
By Julia Geigle
While the use of alcohol among youth is declining, there continues to be a widespread use among youth . Because drinking alcohol impairs judgement and can increase feelings of invincibility, individuals under the influence are more likely to engage in risky behaviors like reckless driving, fighting, and having unprotected sex.
We know that one or even two standard drinks won’t lead to the type of consequences named above. However, while teens tend to drink less often than adults do, when they do drink, they drink larger amounts, compounding health and safety risks. Binge drinking, consuming at least four to five standard drinks per occasion, constitutes about 90% of underage drinking. Additionally, research has shown that the earlier in life a person drinks, the more likely they will suffer the negative consequences, and develop an addiction.