According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:
Among high school students, during the past 30 days
- 42% drank some amount of alcohol.
- 24% binge drank.
- 10% drove after drinking alcohol.
- 28% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.
Youth who drink alcohol are more likely to experience
- School problems, such as higher absence and poor or failing grades.
- Social problems, such as fighting and lack of participation in youth activities.
- Legal problems, such as arrest for driving or physically hurting someone while drunk.
- Physical problems, such as hangovers or illnesses.
- Unwanted, unplanned, and unprotected sexual activity.
- Disruption of normal growth and sexual development.
- Physical and sexual assault.
- Higher risk for suicide and homicide.
- Alcohol-related car crashes and other unintentional injuries, such as burns, falls, and drowning.
- Memory problems.
- Abuse of other drugs.
- Changes in brain development that may have life-long effects.
- Death from alcohol poisoning.
In general, the risk of youth experiencing these problems is greater for those who binge drink than for those who do not binge drink.
Some factors associated with youth tobacco use include
- Low socioeconomic status
- Use and approval of tobacco use by peers or siblings
- Lack of skills to resist influences to tobacco use
- Smoking by parents or guardians and/or lack of parental support or involvement
- Accessibility, availability, and price of tobacco products
- A perception that tobacco use is the norm
- Low levels of academic achievement
- Low self-image or self-esteem
- Aggressive behavior (e.g., fighting, carrying weapons)
Smoking and smokeless tobacco use are almost always initiated and established during adolescence. More than 80% of adult smokers begin smoking before 18 years of age.