According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, underage drinking is a nationwide epidemic. Alcohol is the most abused drug nationwide and in a 2008 study, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 19% of students and youth between the ages of 12 and 20 had participated in binge drinking. Twenty-eight percent of the same age group reported drinking alcohol. Statistics show that students from eighth grade to 12th grade have tried alcohol or consume it on a frequent basis. Thirty-seven percent of all eighth graders studied in 2009 had said they tried alcohol. Seventy-two percent of 12th graders had tried alcohol at least once.
According to the SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 80.9% of youth that engaged in alcohol use did so with two or more people. Only 4.9% of youth between the ages of 12 and 20 drank alcohol while alone.
Regarding the state of social drinking, SAMHSA found in the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health that males were more likely than females to drink alone. Of all underage drinkers surveyed, 6.3% of males drank alone compared to 3.3% of females. According to the study, 53.4% of those surveyed reported drinking alcohol in someone else’s home while 30.3% reported drinking in their own home. Other spots for underage drinking include restaurants, cars, or in a park or beach.
For Kids and Teens
The Cool Spot: With great graphics geared towards kids and teens, the Cool Spot provides information that informs youth of the dangers of drugs including alcohol.
Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD): SADD’s mission is to provide students with the resources and tools needed to prevent drug abuse, including the use of alcohol.
Report Underage Drinking: The Nebraska Office of Highway Safety encourages youth to report those who are under the age of 21 and consuming alcohol. The organization provides a toll-free number where youth may file anonymous reports.
Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free: The Leadership provides statistics and facts that demonstrate the dangers of drinking alcohol and shows how alcohol is in fact a drug.
Alcoholics Anonymous: AA provides an important message to teenagers regarding the dangers of alcohol consumption.
National Association for Children of Alcoholics: The National Association for Children of Alcoholics provides numerous resources nationwide for those dealing with alcohol and other drugs in the home. The association is a clearinghouse of resources for family members, clergy and pastoral staff, and educators.
PRIDE Youth Programs: Formerly known as the Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education, PRIDE is the nation’s oldest organization that focuses on peer support to help youth from kindergarten to college level stay away from drugs including alcohol.
Run Drugs out of Town Run: The Run Drugs out of Town Run organization focuses on raising money to promote awareness of drugs including alcohol. They provide resources for those nationwide who would like to raise money for drug abuse prevention in their local communities.
Too Smart to Start: Too Smart to Start is a drug, including alcohol, prevention program aimed at youth, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Sobriety Rocks: the Kansas Department of Transportation coordinates Sobriety Rocks as a way to help decrease the amount of drugs, including alcohol, abuse in children.
Underage Drinking Prevention Task Force: The task force provides resources for teens and their parents regarding the dangers of alcohol abuse. Resources include statistics and facts.
Organizations and Government Programs
Stop Alcohol Abuse: A government site that provides facts, statistics, and materials regarding the prevention of underage drinking, Stop Alcohol Abuse partners with 15 federal agencies.
Underage Drinking Prevention: New York State provides this resource for educators, parents, and members of law enforcement as they work together to prevent underage drinking in the community.
2 Young 2 Drink: Founded by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission through a grant provided by the U.S. Justice Department, 2 Young 2 Drink provides public speakers to work with the local community to promote education and prevent alcohol use in minors.
Start Talking Now: Operated by the Washington State Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking (RUaD), the organization is funded through the federal program Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws. The coalition coordinates new and effective strategies to help deter underage drinking throughout the state.
MCRUD: The Michigan Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking is a program funded by the Michigan Department of Community Health/Office of Drug Control Policy. It also receives federal grant money that is used to help reduce the amount of underage drinking throughout the state.
College Drinking Prevention: Created by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), College Drinking Prevention focuses on providing college students, parents, and educators with the resources needed to prevent binge drinking and alcohol abuse during the college years.
For Parents and Communities
Parent Further: Parent Further is a research site that provides information for parents and educators in their efforts to steer kids away from alcohol use.
Parent’s Corner: Underage Drinking: Provided through the Century Council, the Parent’s Corner features tips and resources for those trying to steer kids away from alcohol use.
MADD: Mothers Against Drunk Driving is a non-profit organization with a mission to prevent drunk driving that was founded in 1980. MADD provides numerous resources and information for parents and community leaders in the fight against drunk driving.
We Don’t Serve Teens: Site from the Federal Trade Commission with statistics, facts, and resources to help prevent teen alcohol use.
NHTSA Community Guides: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers community guides for those promoting underage-drinking awareness.
The Underage Drinking Epidemic: Parade magazine takes a close look at underage drinking in this article.
Parents Empowered: Utah-based site that aims at eliminating underage drinking statewide.
Pro Con: This site examines the pros and cons of underage drinking and includes a resource guide regarding states that make exceptions to the drinking age.
Be the Parent: This site from Idaho provides news, resources, and tips for parents who aim to prevent underage alcohol use in youth.
Parents Step Up: This Delaware site provides resources for parents working together to promote communities free from underage drinking.
Keepin’ It Real: Arizona State University provides a variety of educator resources to prevent alcohol abuse in children and teens.
Drug Free: The Partnership at Drugfree is a resource for parents who are looking for treatment centers for children dealing with drug abuse, including alcohol.
Statistics and Facts
NIAAA: The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism discusses underage drinking and provides different statistics.
CDC: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides fact sheets on underage drinking.
Alcohol Problems and Solutions: Written by a sociology professor, this site focuses on underage drinking in youth and provides facts and statistics.
Underage Drinking Costs: Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center provides data regarding the costs of underage drinking across the United States.
Understanding Alcohol Abuse: George Mason University provides statistics regarding alcohol abuse in youth.
Teenagers and Underage Drinking: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety provides a question and answer session regarding underage drinking.