Get the Facts
Among Georgia’s youth, alcohol is the drug of choice. According to a recent survey, 23 percent of youth statewide consume alcohol before the age of 13—and nearly a quarter of high school students statewide admitted to riding in a car with someone that had been drinking.
Underage peer pressure to try alcohol is real, but so are the consequences. Alcohol abuse is often linked to criminal behavior and social and health problems. Just look at the statistics:
- Underage drinking is a factor in nearly half of all teen automobile crashes and contributes significantly to suicides, homicides and fatal injuries. In fact, more teens die as a result of alcohol use than all other illegal drugs combined.
- Alcohol abuse is linked to as many as two-thirds of all sexual assaults and date rapes of teens and college students.
- Alcohol is a major factor in unprotected sex among youth, increasing their risk of contracting HIV or other transmitted diseases.
- There are approximately 1.5 billion episodes of binge drinking among persons 18 years or older in the U.S. each year.
There are also mental and physical consequences. If you start drinking before 21, you are seven times more likely to develop an alcohol problem than if you wait. In addition, the brain continues to develop into the mid-20s, so alcohol abuse at a young age could lead to brain damage, memory problems and harm to other major organs.
Finally, there are the legal repercussions. Georgia is a Zero Tolerance state, so if you are charged with possession or caught purchasing or attempting to purchase alcohol while underage, you could face stiff penalties. The punishment is particularly harsh if you are caught driving under the influence as a minor, with charges including potential incarceration, probation, fines, community service hours and driver’s license suspension or revocation. You also risk having a DUI conviction on your permanent criminal record – which is public and can be viewed by colleges and potential employers long after any criminal sentence has been completed.
Staying away from alcohol is the safest choice. Learn the facts, research the risk and give yourself a chance before picking up that drink.
Check out some of our informative videos featuring facts and insight on underage drinking and binge drinking.
As the “Most Interesting Teen in the World” illustrates, you don’t need alcohol to be the life of the party. Stay sober, my friends…
See what happened during this “night gone wrong,” and how parental involvement can help prevent underage kids from drinking.
The consequences of binge drinking are serious. Stay sober and give yourself a chance.
Why mess with the odds? Get the facts on the serious consequences that are often caused by underage and binge drinking.
We quizzed several Georgians on how much they know about the dangers of alcohol use facing young people. The answers might shock you as much as they shocked them…