Sixty-two percent of the Washington County teens we surveyed said they drank some amount of alcohol, 47% within the last 3 months. Of those who drank, almost 40% had at least one episode of binge drinking within the last 3 months. More than 40% of sexually active teens reported engaging in sex while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States, more than tobacco and illicit drugs. Even worse, binge drinking accounts for more than 90% of the alcohol consumed by underage drinkers. Studies show that youth who drink alcohol are more likely to experience:
- School problems, such as higher absence rates and poor or failing grades.
- Social problems, such as fighting and lack of participation in youth activities.
- Legal problems, such as arrest for driving under the influence
- Disruption of normal growth and sexual development and changes in brain development that may have life-long effects.
- Unwanted, unplanned, and unprotected sexual activity.
- Higher risk for physical and sexual assault, suicide and homicide, alcohol-related car crashes and other injuries.
- Abuse of other drugs.
- Death from alcohol poisoning.
Youth who start drinking before age 15 years are five times more likely to develop alcoholism later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21 years.
If you’d like to help change these statistics, join us and other concerned community members in Washington County as we work together with a special focus on underage drinking prevention. If you would like to be part of this effort, please fill out this member profile and return it to us as indicated. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Janis Williamson at 301-671-3000 or use the contact form below.
Together we can explore and effectively respond to the various factors that contribute to underage drinking in our community.
Meeting dates: Meetings are usually at noon on the third Thursday of the month. Please see our online event calendar for exact dates, times and location.
We’ll update this page with information and resources based on input from the underage drinking prevention initiative. Meanwhile, test your knowledge of underage drinking: