In most cases, too much of anything is probably not a good idea.

That is especially true for alcohol. But when it comes to underage drinking, any is too much. That’s why the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD), has observed Alcohol Awareness Month every April since 1987. Its focus is to call attention to the dangers of alcohol, especially among underage drinkers.

More than half of all boys and a third of all girls have some experience with alcohol by the time they are 12. What’s more, according to NCADD:

  • Excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage youth each year.
  • Nearly 10 million young people, ages 12 to 20, report that they've consumed alcohol in the past 30 days.
  • Young people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at or after age 21.
  • While it is illegal for individuals under 21 to drink, the 12 to 20 age group is responsible for 11 percent of all the alcohol consumed in the United States.

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is defined as five drinks for men, or four drinks for women in a two-hour period of time. Drinking at this rate will cause the blood alcohol level to increase to well beyond the legal limit.

For many young people, the purpose of drinking is to get drunk. And that can have serious consequences, from loss of control to alcohol abuse disorder, to brain development issues. 

Drinking and Driving

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2014 there were 9,967 people killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. We are all responsible for doing our part to help prevent drunk driving. 

It’s the Season

April is the perfect time for this increased awareness of the dangers associated with alcohol. With springtime comes proms, graduations, and end of school parties. All too often, illegal alcohol use is involved.

Learn from our experts how to prepare for “party” season with these tips.

It’s important for parents and even older siblings to know that a host for a party cannot permit underage drinking. Doing so can result in fines and arrests. Learn more here.

A Parents’ Guide

So many families aren’t prepared for alcohol abuse with their child. But as the statistics show, it can happen in any family.

Our experts believe it’s better to have a plan. Know the signs of alcohol abuse and what steps to take when you suspect there may be an issue. Learn more in this Bradley Hospital parenting guide.

As the staff in our emergency departments will tell you, sharing this information can save lives. They’ve seen far too many patients due to alcohol.

Lifespan Blog Team

The Lifespan Blog Team is working to provide you with timely and pertinent information that will help keep you and your family happy and healthy.