Binge on
the Truth

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It’s no secret that underage and binge drinking are hazardous to not only your health but also to the wellbeing of anyone around you. Get the facts here on the dangers and consequences of underage and excessive drinking. The more you know, the more you’ll be able to resist peer pressure and stay safe.

While serving sizes can vary, a standard drink contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol. This is equal to about 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, and just half of a single ounce of distilled spirits.

There is a long list of risks associated with underage and binge drinking to one’s health and physical/social development:

  • Your brain is still developing during your teen years. Alcohol consumption can impede brain development, leading to impaired memory, coordination, and motor skills.
  • Drinking and driving continue to be the #1 cause of death among people 15 to 24.
  • Teenagers who regularly abuse alcohol are at increased risk of using tobacco and drugs.
  • Binge drinkers are EIGHT TIMES more likely than others to develop problems in school and to damage property.
  • Teenage girls who drink are more likely to have unprotected sex than girls who don’t, and are at significant risk of becoming pregnant and/or contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
  • It’s illegal—there are legal consequences to drinking before you turn 21.

There are numerous warning signs that may indicate the possibility of an alcohol problem, especially if some happen suddenly or are extreme in nature. If several of the following occur at the same time, immediate help should be sought.

  • Behavioral Changes
  • School problems, poor attendance, low grades, and/or recent disciplinary action
  • Rebelling against family rules
  • Switching friends, along with a reluctance to let you get to know the new friends
  • Sloppy appearance
  • A lack of involvement in former interests
  • Emotional Changes
  • Mood changes, flare-ups, irritability, and defensiveness
  • A “nothing matters” attitude
  • Mental Changes
  • Memory lapses
  • Poor concentration
  • Physical Changes
  • Low energy
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Lack of coordination
  • Slurred speech

Underage and binge drinking is rampant among teens today. Here are some eye-opening facts:

  • 1 in 6 teens binge drinks (almost 17%)—yet only 1% of parents believe their teen binge drinks.
  • Teens aged 12–20 drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the U.S.
  • In the past 30 days, over 30% of high school students drank some amount of alcohol
  • In the past 30 days, 10% of 8th graders drank some amount of alcohol.
  • Approximately 4,300 underage deaths are caused every year by excessive drinking.

5 Ways to Resist Peer Pressure

  1. Say “No” like you mean it
    Make eye contact with the person pressuring you and say “NO” firmly. The more definitive you are in your refusal, the less people will bother you.
  2. Back up a “No” with a positive statement
    Say something like, “Thanks, but I’m fine right now,” or “I’m okay—I’m having fun anyway.” You don’t need to get defensive, provide a lengthy explanation, or call others out on their drinking.
  3. Be repetitive
    Don’t hesitate to state your position over and over again if people continue to pressure you. Your decision not to drink is yours alone, and isn’t a statement or judgment on anyone else’s behavior.
  4. Be your own best friend
    Remind yourself every now and then that you’re special and block any negative thoughts about needing to do what others do just so that you can fit in. If your friendships are dependent on doing things you don’t want to do, then seek other friends.
  5. Find ways to excel
    Challenge yourself to do your best. Focus your attention on your personal goals instead of the goals of a group.

You can dial 2-1-1 to access a wide range of health and human services, including those that can connect you directly to agencies and organizations specializing in underage alcohol and substance abuse situations.

You can also contact the following local resource for guidance and assistance with underage drinking:

Eastern Shore Psychological 1120 Somerset Ave, Princess Anne, MD 21853 (410) 651-4200