At any high school party, there most likely will be alcohol. Of course, the legal drinking age is 21, but according to the U. What is it about drinking alcohol that causes so many underage Americans to break the law?
Warning: Binge drinking can change the brain in ways that make it more difficult to have self-control and not drink later. Alcohol is a drug. And every day, more than 4, American kids aged 15 and younger take their first full drink of this drug.
Binge drinking in adolescence has been shown to have lasting effects on the wiring of the brain and is associated with increased risk for psychological problems and alcohol use disorder later in life. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago Center for Alcohol Research in Epigenetics have shown that some of these lasting changes are the result of epigenetic changes that alter the expression of a protein crucial for the formation and maintenance of neural connections in the amygdala -- the part of the brain involved in emotion, fear and anxiety. Their results, which are based on the analysis of postmortem human brain tissue, are published in the journal Translational Psychiatry.
Print version. Alcohol is the drug of choice among youth. Many young people are experiencing the consequences of drinking too much, at too early an age.
Teens drink less often than adults, but drink more per occasion. This can impair their judgment and put them and others at risk of physical harm and dangerous behavior, including:. Underage drivers are more susceptible than adults to the alcohol-induced impairment of driving skills.
Alcohol is likely the most used and abused substance in the world. Underage drinking is a consistent issue faced in the United States today. Alcohol intake can take its toll on a teenager in many forms, beyond the obvious intentional inebriation.
Believe it or not, the average age for a first drink is As a parent, you hold tremendous influence over whether your child decides to drink or not. Be informed and be clear that you disapprove of underage drinking, model health behavior and find opportunities to discuss the dangers of alcohol.
Underage drinking has actually been steadily declining for decades in the United States, but it is still prevalent enough to be a major public health concern. Byall 50 states and the District of Columbia had adopted 21 as the minimum drinking age, setting off a steady decline in underage drinking rates among 8th, 10th and 12th-grade students that continues today. Males still binge drink and drink daily more than underage females, but the differences are diminishing. White students report the highest levels of drinking, Hispanics are next and blacks report the lowest rates.
Alcohol is the most widely abused substance among America's youth. Drinking by young people has big health and safety risks. It is dangerous because it.