question that years of heavy drinking can seriously
damage health and even kill. But some of the
dangers won’t wait. They are right in
the here and now.
That’s because alcohol
can harm judgment, coordination, and reflexes.
It can cause people to lose control, take chances,
and do things they never would do otherwise.
As a result, teens who
drink can be injured or killed, even the first
time they try alcohol.
In fact, alcohol is linked with an estimated
5,000 deaths in people under age 21 each year--more
than all illegal drugs combined.
car crashes. Motor vehicle crashes
are the leading cause of death in people aged
15 to 20. Deadly crashes involving alcohol
are twice as common in teens compared with
people 21 and older. That’s because
teens are not as experienced with driving,
and their judgment skills are harmed more
by alcohol, even if they drink less than adults.
and other deaths. Mixing drinking with
swimming or boating can be fatal. Four out
of 10 teens who drown have been drinking alcohol.
Underage drinking has also been linked with
deaths and injuries from burns, falls, alcohol
poisoning, and suicide.
Others Survive? Drinking teens not only
risk hurting themselves. They risk hurting their
friends, family, and people they have never
even met. Drinking teens who drive are more
likely than adults to kill someone else, whether
it’s passengers in their cars, people
in other cars, or pedestrians.