Is a major cause of death from injuries among young people. Each year, approximately 5,000 people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking; this includes about 1,900 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 as a result of homicides, 300 from suicide, as well as hundreds from other injuries such as falls, burns, and drownings.
Increases the risk of carrying out, or being a victim of, a physical or sexual assault.
Can affect the body in many ways. The effects of alcohol range from hangovers to death from alcohol poisoning.
Can lead to other problems. These may include bad grades in school, run-ins with the law, and drug use.
Affects how well a young person judges risk and makes sound decisions. For example, after drinking, a teen may see nothing wrong with driving a car or riding with a driver who has been drinking.
Plays a role in risky sexual activity. This can increase the chance of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Can harm the growing brain, especially when teens drink a lot. Today we know that the brain continues to develop from birth through the teen years into the mid-20s.