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The Facts: Alcohol

Alcohol causes thousands of serious injuries and deaths each year. It is especially dangerous for young people.

More than 140,000 people die from excessive alcohol use every year – 380 deaths, per day

380 /day
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Those who begin drinking in their youth are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash.

7 x
National Institute of Health

95% of the 14 million people who are alcohol dependent began drinking before the legal age of 21.

95 %
Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

Nearly one in five youths ages 12 to 20 years old reported drinking alcohol.

1 /5
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

One in 10 youths ages 12 to 20 reported binge drinking in the previous 30-days.

1 /10
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Dangers of Alcohol

Alcohol is a factor in the deaths of thousands of people in the United States under the age of 21 each year. This includes:

  • 1,092 from motor vehicle crashes.
  • 1,000 from homicides.
  • 208 from alcohol overdose, falls, burns, and drowning.
  • 596 from suicides.

Impacts on Your Brain

Alcohol negatively affects brain development.

This can cause:

  • Memory problems.
  • Aggression.
  • Health issues.
  • Damage to the liver, stomach, and heart.
  • Weight gain.
  • Impair the body’s ability to heal from injuries or illness.
  • Poor grades.
  • Risk of injury.
  • Engaging in risky behaviors.

What it looks like

Alcohol is available in a variety of forms, made from many different ingredients and processes.

The alcohol content of beverages is determined by the amount of pure ethanol and can look and smell completely different.

What You Need to Know

  • Alcohol, especially binge drinking, can cause irreversible damage to part of your brain with lifelong effects. The brain’s prefrontal cortex assists in decision-making and controls the ability to reason – this area is not fully developed until the age of 25.
  • Among college-aged students, 696,000 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking, each year. (NIAAA)
  • Researchers have confirmed that one in five college women experience sexual assault during their time in college. The majority of sexual assaults in college involve alcohol or other substances. (NIAAA)

Dangers of Drinking and Driving

Drinking and driving do not mix.

  • Do not ever drive after drinking.
  • Do not get in a car with someone who has been drinking, and do not let a friend drive after drinking.
  • One person dies every 45minutes in drunk-driving crashes. (CDC)
  • Alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths are up by 14%, killing 11,654 people in 2020. (DOT)
  • One in four fatal crashes involves an underaged, impaired driver. Car crashes are a leading cause of death for teens. (NHTSA)

Common Names:

Some slang terms for alcohol are booze, juice, and liquid courage.