Many young people initiate alcohol use early in life, and those who do are at an increased risk for numerous problems compared to adolescents who do not drink.
In the study, “Age of Alcohol Use Initiation, Suicidal Behavior, and Peer and Dating Violence Victimization and Perpetration Among High-Risk, Seventh-Grade Adolescents,” researchers found that 35 percent of students in a high-risk school district reported using alcohol before age 13.
Preteen alcohol use was strongly associated with dating violence victimization, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.
A number of evidence-based strategies, such as enforcing minimum legal drinking age laws and increasing excise taxes on alcohol, are available but not fully implemented to prevent and reduce alcohol use among minors.
Increased support of these strategies will be necessary to prevent alcohol abuse and the many health problems associated with its use among young people.ciated with its use among young people.