Teenage Alcoholism Research
Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited: November 01 ,
2020 | 4 Sources
Teenage alcoholism research reveals an alarming number of youth who drink alcohol and put their lives – and the lives of those around them – at risk. Teen alcoholism is a serious problem in the U.S., and the statistics bear this out.
Teenage Alcoholism Study Results
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) conducted a recent study of the scope of teen alcoholism. They surveyed teens age 12 – 17, and this is what their research found:
- 7.2 million teens consumed alcohol at least one time over the past year.
- 2.7 million teens consumed alcohol at least once a month or more over the past year.
- One million teens consumed alcohol at least once a week or more over the past year.
- Girls were as likely to drink as boys their age.
- Hispanic teens were as likely as white non-Hispanic teens to drink alcohol.
- African-American teens were the least likely of the ethnic groups studied to drink alcohol.
Of teens that did drink during the past year, the teenage alcoholism research found that:
- 39% had at least one serious problem resulting from alcohol use in the past year.
- 18% had developed tolerance to the effects of alcohol.
- 8% reported alcohol-related psychological problems.
- 4% reported alcohol-related health problems.
Of those that drank heavily during the past month (heavily being defined as five or more drinks on five or more occasions), the teenage alcoholism research found that:
- 77% had at least one serious problem resulting from alcohol use in the past year.
- 63% had developed tolerance to the effects of alcohol.
- 20% reported alcohol-related psychological problems.
- 12% reported alcohol-related health problems.
The above statistics on teen alcoholism are alarming. But there’s more.
Grade-by-Grade Teenage Alcoholism Research
Another study on alcoholism among teens looked at students grade-by-grade:
They found that among eighth graders:
- 25% reported drinking alcohol in the past month.
- 15% reported binge drinking in the past two weeks.
- 8% reported drinking to the point of intoxication.
- 1% reported drinking on a daily basis.
They found that among tenth graders:
- 40% reported drinking alcohol in the past month.
- 25% reported binge drinking in the past two weeks.
- 22% reported drinking to the point of intoxication.
- 2% reported drinking on a daily basis.
They found that among twelfth graders:
- 53% reported drinking alcohol in the past month.
- 30% reported binge drinking in the past two weeks.
- 34% reported drinking to the point of intoxication.
- 4% reported drinking on a daily basis.
Other Teen Alcoholism Research
You can see that there has been much teenage alcoholism research conducted. Most of the studies focus on the scope of the problem, however. There has been some research on how to prevent and treat teen alcoholism, but more research is needed in those key areas.
The research that has been done on the prevention of alcoholism tells us that parents play a big role in the prevention of the disease. Something as simple as talking to teens about the dangers of drinking can go a long way toward preventing it.
Research also tells us that teens that drink before the age of 15 are far more likely to become alcoholics than their peers who do not drink until the age of 21 or later. If we can prevent underage drinking, we can help to prevent adult alcoholism.
One other thing that research tells us is that teen alcoholism is very treatable with the right treatment. Teens should receive treatment in a treatment center that is geared toward the treatment of adolescents. Teens have different treatment needs than adults.
Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl
Licensed Medical Health Professional
I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LPC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More
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