From the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration:
Alcohol continues to be the most widely used substance of abuse among American youth, and a higher proportion use alcohol than tobacco, marijuana, or other drugs.4 Underage drinking often begins at an early age.
Of those who drink underage, 15 percent began using alcohol before they were 13 years old.
Nearly 2.3 million 12- to 17-year-olds used alcohol for the first time in 2019, which averages to approximately 6,200 adolescents who began using alcohol each day.
Underage drinking is common and often excessive. In 2019, over 7 million 12-to 20-year-olds reported past month alcohol use, over 4 million reported past month binge drinking, and nearly 1 million reported past month heavy alcohol use.
On their most recent drinking occasion, 72 percent of youth reported that they obtained alcohol for free. Most got their alcohol from a non-relative who was older than 21 (22 percent) or person under 21 (12 percent). Half of them drank the alcohol at someone else’s home.
To print out a fact sheet on teen drinking, go here.
If you are looking for help for your teen, go to our Children’s System of Care page here.