About Underage Drinking


Alcohol is the drug of choice for teens and the widespread nature of the problem is alarming:

  • About 30 percent of eighth graders have tried alcohol.
  • About half of all tenth graders drink.
  • One in six teens binge drinks, but only one in 100 parents believe his or her child binge drinks.
  • Teen alcohol use kills about 4,700 people each year, more than all other drugs combined.

Underage drinking isn’t just illegal – it’s dangerous.  Whether teens are experimenting with beer, wine, or other liquor, alcohol presents a serious – and potentially deadly – threat. Compared with non-drinking classmates, teens who drink are more likely to:

  • Die in a car crash
  • Get pregnant
  • Flunk school
  • Be sexually assaulted
  • Become an alcoholic later in life and
  • Take their life through suicide.

There is no single answer to underage drinking. That’s why MADD believes in mobilizing the entire community by involving parents, youth, community groups and other stakeholders to get involved and applying multiple strategies and actions to tackle this complex problem.

Learn more about our Power of Parents® and Power of You(th)® programs helping to empower parents and teens to prevent underage drinking.