Understanding Teenage Drinking Statistics and Their Roots

Underage drinking is an age-old problem in the United States. Teenage drinking is the cause of over 4,300 deaths every year, according to a CDC report. Teenage drinking statistics show that it remains the most abused substance among teenagers in America. Caretakers, parents and guardians must be aware of the risks involved in underage drinking since it is an ever-present threat to our youth.

Underage Drinking Statistics

According to the underage drinking statistics collected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, teenage drinking has reduced slightly from 7.7 million in 2015 to 7.3 million in 2016, but these numbers still reveal the massive scope of the problem that affects America’s youth.

Another one of the alarming teenage drinking statistics is that adolescents who drink are more likely to keep drinking, and in larger amounts, as they grow older. Teenage drinking statistics reveal that the rate of consumption in the youth starts at 13% for 16-year-olds and reaches 47% for 20-year-olds. Teenage drinking statistics also showed that there is little difference between male and female adolescent drinking rates.

Causes of Teenage Drinking

To better understand why the alcohol statistics are so high for teens, we will take a look at the causes of teenage drinking. The most common reasons found for underage drinking are as follows:

  • Peer pressure – We all know that peer pressure is often most intense while in school. The need to fit in drives teens to do things that they wouldn’t normally do, such as drink alcohol even though they know it’s bad for them.
  • Experimentation – Experimenting is a part of growing up. Those who are prone to addiction because of their genetics or external situations have a higher risk of becoming addicted when they experiment with alcohol.
  • Impulse control – The area of the brain that is responsible for impulse control is still in development during teen years. This means that teens have poorer control over their impulses, such as getting involved with risky and dangerous behavior.
  • Home and school stress – Schools and parents can put a lot of pressure on a teenager to perform, and at times this can be overwhelming. Some teens may discover that drinking alcohol helps them to get rid of the stress and anxiety they feel. Using a substance in such a way inevitably leads to an addiction.
  • Co-occurring mental disorders – One of the most common similarities among addicts in a co-occurring mental disorder, such as depression or anxiety disorders. When these occur and are not treated professionally, then there is a risk that the person will turn to substances such as alcohol for their relief. The act of self-medication quickly leads to an addiction.

Finding Alcohol Abuse Help

Thankfully, there are several research-driven treatment methods that can effectively treat teens for substance use disorder. At a rehab center such as WhiteSands, where they are equipped to treat teens, a combination of alternative treatments and traditional therapy is provided to guide the adolescent through their recovery process. Outpatient programs are also available to help teens who can’t afford to take any time away from their schooling.

Withdrawal from alcohol can be dangerous. As such, a patient can be closely monitored during the process to make sure that any complications are dealt with quickly and effectively.

Once the teen has finished with their treatment, further management will be required, such as gong to support group meetings once a week.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.