FACTS About Underage Alcohol Use

According to the 2012 Texas School Survey, 59.2% of Texas secondary school students believe that alcohol is either “somewhat easy or very easy to get.” Most minors obtain alcohol from social situations where an adult has provided the alcohol to the minor. More results from the 2013 survey below demonstrates where Texas secondary students obtain alcohol.

Where do minors obtain alcohol?*

Texas secondary students report getting their alcohol from:

  • Home (27.4%)
  • Friends (34.4%)
  • Parties (38.8%)
  • Store (12.2%)
  • Other (24.8%)

*Texas School Survey, 2012

Why the Concern about Underage Drinking? Our Children and Communities' Public Health and Safety is At Risk:

  • Minors that start drinking alcohol before age 15 are four times more likely to become alcohol dependent than a person that starts drinking at 21
  • Minors that drink alcohol are seven times more likely to engage in illicit drug use than minors who do not
  • About 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth under the age of 21 in the United States is in the form of binge drinking.** Binge drinking is the most dangerous type of alcohol consumption. It is defined as a male consuming five or more drinks in a row or a female consuming 4 or more drinks in a row.
  • Minors who engage in binge drinking are more likely to engage in or become involved in:
    • Risky behavior leading to unintentional injury which contributes to accidental death which is the #1 killer of the nation’s youth
    • Risky sexual behavior resulting in pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases
    • Unwanted and unintended sexual activity
    • Reckless and/or criminal activity (i.e. fighting, vandalism, DWI, etc.) that can lead to criminal records that keep youth from pursuing desired jobs or careers
    • Adverse health consequences including alcohol poisoning and suicide among others

  *  Texas School Survey 2008
** Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Drinking in America: Myths, Realities, and Prevention Policy. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2005. Available at http://www.udetc.org/documents/Drinking_in_America.pdf (PDF).

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