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Effects of Underage Drinking

Recognizing the effects of alcohol is the first step toward getting help for your teen.

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1 Your Role
I want to learn about treatment options for:


2 Basic Information
The Person is:
years old


graduated high school

3 Condition Information
Caron Treatment Centers accepts patients aged 13 years or older. For more information on services available to those 12 and under, please learn more about Caron's Student Assistance Program.

Signs of underage drinking.

The effects of alcohol abuse are intensified in teens and young adults, whose brains and bodies are still developing. Short-term signs of underage drinking include:

  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Problems at school or work
  • Risky sexual behavior
  • Overdose
  • Accidents
  • Drunk driving
  • Physical and sexual assaults
  • Emotional problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Impaired ability to reason

It’s important to realize that abusing alcohol—even one time—can be deadly. For example, nearly 10% of all teenage drinkers binge drink (four or more drinks in a row for women and five or more drinks in a row for men.) Binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning, drunk driving and homicide, among other unfortunate fatalities. 

Long-term effects of alcohol and underage drinking.

Chronic underage drinking is associated with the following:

  • Impaired cognitive and physical development
  • Memory and learning problems
  • Increased risk of abusing other substances
  • Alcohol dependence
  • More risky behaviors
  • Future alcohol and mental health problems

Combatting underage drinking.

Parental intervention is critical for preventing and treating underage drinking. For facts and figures on underage drinking, visit our stats page. If you’re seeking professional help for your child, please explore Caron’s programs for teens or contact us today.