Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States. As teenagers mature, it is natural for them to assert their independence, and that often turns into seeking new challenges and taking more risks. Many teens want to try alcohol but may not fully recognize the adverse effects on their health and behavior. Additionally, many teens drink due to peer pressure, a coping mechanism to relieve stress or anxiety, a desire to feel more grown up, to rebel, or out of curiosity.
Facts about youth and alcohol
A teen who begins drinking at the age of 15 is seven times more likely to have an alcohol abuse problem later in life than someone who waits until the age of 21 to start drinking. source
Alcohol abuse during the teenage years negatively impacts the memory center of the brain and disrupts the development of the adolescent brain, making it harder for teens to cope with social situations and the normal pressures of life. source
Research shows that alcohol abuse during the teenage years negatively impacts the memory center of the brain (the hippocampus) and may also disrupt the development of the adolescent brain in unhealthy ways, making it harder for teens to cope with social situations and the normal pressures of life. source
Facts about Pelham youth and alcohol
Pelham high-schoolers drink alcohol at significantly higher levels than their national and county peers. source
Of those Pelham youth who have tried alcohol, the average age when they first tried is 13.9 years old (8th grade). source