Alcohol can have serious impacts on youth health.

Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

infographic designed by hudson ysap media intern sophia t. (class of 2019)

infographic designed by hudson ysap media intern sophia t. (class of 2019)

  • Blocks learning.
  • Disrupts sleep cycles. Brain activity during sleep is important for learning and memory functions. What youth learn during the day is imprinted on the brain during sleep. Alcohol impairs the quality of sleep and can significantly diminish a person’s ability to learn and remember, even after intoxication has worn off.
  • Appears less sedating in adolescents than adults. When under the influence of alcohol, youth may be more likely than adults to stay up later, keep drinking, and have the perception that they are ok to drive.
  • Visit NIAAA or The Science Inside Alcohol for more information on the effects of alcohol.

What are the consequences of underage drinking?

Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

  • 5,000 people under age 21 die each year from alcohol-related car crashes, homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning, and other injuries such as falls, burns, and drowning.
  • In 2008, more than 190,000 people under age 21 visited an emergency room for alcohol-related injuries.
  • Drinking can cause youth to make poor decisions, which can result in risky behavior (i.e. drinking and driving, sexual activity, or violence).
  • Youth who drink are more likely to carry out or be the victim of sexual assault.
  • Brain development continues into a person’s twenties. Alcohol can affect this development, and contribute to a variety of problems. For more information on the developing brain, visit National Institute of Mental Health and PBS Frontline Inside the Teen Brain.

What are some signs of underage drinking?

Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

  • Academic and/or behavioral problems.
  • Changing groups of friends.
  • Less interest in activities and/or appearance.
  • Finding alcohol among a young person’s things or smelling alcohol on their breath.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Coordination problems.
  • Memory and/or concentration problems.