Apart from being illegal, underage drinking poses a high risk to both the individual and society. For example, the rate of alcohol–related traffic crashes is greater for drivers ages 16 to 20 than for drivers age 21 and older. Adolescents also are vulnerable to alcohol–induced brain damage, which could contribute to poor performance at school or work. In addition, youthful drinking is associated with an increased likelihood of developing alcohol abuse or dependence later in life. Early intervention is essential to prevent the development of serious alcohol problems among youth between the ages of 12 and 20.
The immediate and long–term risks associated with adolescent alcohol use demand the need for effective prevention and treatment programs. Here are a few websites that provide information about teen alcoholism.
www.dontserveteens.gov – We Don’t Serve Teens is a national campaign to prevent underage drinking. The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, prepared and maintains www.DontServeTeens.gov. Other organizations involved in this campaign
www.thecoolspot.gov – The Cool Spot was created for kids 11-13 years old by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The NIAAA is the lead U.S. agency supporting research into the causes, prevention, and treatment of alcohol problems. It is a component of the National Institutes of Health, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
www.alcoholfreechildren.org – The Leadership To Keep Children Alcohol Free Foundation, a public not-for-profit foundation of former and sitting Governors’ spouses and their representatives, is a national philanthropy dedicated to promoting the health, well-being and potential of our Nation’s youth by preventing alcohol use among children.
www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov – In response to the increasingly complex issue of alcohol abuse among college students, the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism created the Task Force on College Drinking in 1998.