What are the risks of underage drinking?

Partnership to End Addiciton / www.drugfree.org

A young person’s brain is not fully developed until they reach their mid- to late 20s, and any drinking while the brain is still developing can be problematic. Regardless of age, alcohol lowers inhibitions and impairs judgment and coordination. It can also increase the incidence of aggressive or violent acts.

Consuming large quantities in a short period of time — or binge drinking, which is defined as having 4-5 drinks on one occasion and is common among young people — can cause alcohol poisoning and even death.

More than 16 million Americans misuse or are addicted to alcohol, which is a substance that is legal, widely available and normalized in our society. Prolonged, heavy use of alcohol can lead to addiction (known as alcohol use disorder, or alcoholism), liver and heart disease, and other health consequences such as a weakened immune system and increased risk of developing certain cancers.

Click here to visit the Partnership to End Addiction website for more information.

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