Get the Facts

Why are alcohol and other drugs dangerous for teens?

The Consequences of Teen Substance Use

The use of alcohol and other drugs has been linked to a variety of negative consequences, especially for youth. Substance use can lead to:

  • Physical and mental health problems: injuries, disease, depression, memory problems
  • Academic problems: absenteeism, poor grades
  • Poor peer and family relationships: social alienation
  • Legal issues: arrests
  • Violence
  • Economic problems: cost of medical and treatment services and societal costs
  • Long-term drug dependence and abuse
  • Death: accidents, disease, homicide, suicide
  1. Alcohol
  2. Tobacco
  3. Marijuana
  4. Other Drugs

How many teens in Schuyler County use alcohol

Alcohol is, by far, the most commonly used drug by adolescents in Schuyler County.
  • Nearly half (47.6%) of seventh through twelfth grade students have used alcohol at some point in their life.
  • Current alcohol use is also high among county teens, with 25.5% of students reporting alcohol use in the 30 days before the survey.
  • On average, teens in Schuyler County first use alcohol at the age of 12.9 years.
How does teen alcohol use in Schuyler County compare to use nationally?
  • Tenth grade and twelfth grade students in Schuyler County reported significantly higher lifetime alcohol use than their peers nationally. In Schuyler County, more than 4 in 5 (80.6%) twelfth grade students have used alcohol in their lifetime; nationally, only 66% of twelfth graders have. 
  • Eighth and twelfth grade students in Schuyler County reported significantly higher current alcohol use than their peers nationally. In Schuyler County, the majority (53.2%) of twelfth grade students had used alcohol in the month before the survey; nationally, only 37.4% had.
What factors may be influencing teens' decision to drink alcohol or not?
  • Alcohol is seen as easy to get by many teens.
    • 46.4% of students reported that alcohol would be sort of easy or very easy to get.
  • Teens get alcohol from a variety of sources.
    • 34.3% of students who used alcohol in the past year got it from someone they know over the age of 21
    • 22.3% of students who used alcohol in the past year obtain it at home with their parents’ permission
  • Some teens feel that neighborhood adults, their parents, and their friends would not disapprove of them using alcohol. 
    • 34.2% of students felt that neighborhood adults would not disapprove of them using alcohol
    • 66.5% of students felt that their friends would disapprove of them using alcohol
    • 9.8% of students felt that their parents would not disapprove of them drinking
  • Some teens do not see underage drinking as risky
    • 72.4% of students felt that regular alcohol use is risky
  • Some teens feel that they would not be caught by the police or their parents if they used alcohol.
    • 22.6% of students felt that a teen using alcohol would be caught by the police
    • 40.2% of students felt they would not be caught by their parents if they used alcohol
  • Alcohol advertising has been shown to increase adolescent alcohol use

Tips and tools to help prevent underage drinking
For parents and families:
For teens and tweens:
  • Tweens: Too smart to start: information and resources about underage drinking for tweens
  • Teens: Too smart to start: information and resources about underage drinking for teens

For more information about underage drinking, check out these resources

Find Help

Sources

  • 2014 Monitoring the Future Table 1: Trends in Lifetime Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs in Grades 8, 10, and 12 accessed August 25, 2015 from: http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/data/14data/14drtbl1.pdf
  • 2014 Monitoring the Future Table 3: Trends in 30-Day Prevalence of Use of Various Drugs in Grades 8, 10, and 12 accessed August 25, 2015 from: http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/data/14data/14drtbl3.pdf
  • 2015 Schuyler County Communities That Care Youth Survey
  • Consequences of youth substance abuse. (1998, May). Retrieved November 18, 2015, from http://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/drugid/ration-03.html
  • Introduction. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2015, from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-adolescent-substance-use-disorder-treatment-research-based-guide/introduction
  • The Developing Brain. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2015, from http://talk2prevent.ny.gov/toolkit/developing-brain
  • Slater, S. J., Chaloupka, F. J., Wakefield, M., Johnston, L. D., & O’Malley, P. M. (2007). The impact of retail cigarette marketing practices on youth smoking uptake. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine, 161(5), 440-445.
  • Snyder, L. B., Milici, F. F., Slater, M., Sun, H., & Strizhakova, Y. (2006). Effects of alcohol advertising exposure on drinking among youth. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine, 160(1), 18-24.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings. NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.