Underage drinking is a growing issue for American youths. Not only is the act of drinking before the age of 21 illegal, it can also affect a teen’s health in both short-term and long-term ways.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, so we thought it appropriate to shine a light on the dangers of underage drinking.
Photo Credit: "Pints of Beer" by Simon Cocks is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Get the Facts About Alcohol
As we’ve detailed in a previous blog post, more than 50 percent of teens have had an alcoholic beverage by the age of 15, making them four times more likely to develop alcoholism later in life than people who wait until the age of 21 to drink.
There are many other health risks associated with early drinking. According to the Centers for Disease Control, youth who drink alcohol are more likely to experience:
• Physical problems, such as hangovers or illnesses
• Disruption of normal growth and sexual development
• Alcohol-related car crashes and other unintentional injuries, such as burns, falls, and drowning
• Memory problems
• Changes in brain development that may have life-long effects
• Alcohol poisoning
Those are just some of the potential problems caused by underage drinking, and sometimes they can even lead to fatalities.
There are upwards of 200,000 emergency room visits by underage kids due to injuries and other conditions linked to underage drinking each year. Even worse, 4,300 yearly underage youth deaths are attributed to alcohol.
How You Can Help
Let people know about Alcohol Awareness Month and encourage family and friends to wait to drink until they reach the legal age.
If you or anyone else you know if suffering from health effects alcohol, give us a call at 440-934-8810 or contact us online to set up an appointment today.
Dr. Jennifer Carandang, M.D.
DISCLAIMER: This blog is for informational purposes only. It does not replace medical care from a licensed physician. If you have a medical concern, please contact your doctor.