What is the relationship between alcoholism and teens? Perhaps because alcohol consumption is legal, it’s much easier for teens to get alcohol than other drugs. They may take it from the parents’ home, ask an adult to purchase it for them, or obtain it from older friends. Because teens see adults (including parents, celebrities and sports stars) drinking socially, they don’t associate it with the dangers of other mind-altering drugs. With alcohol manufacturers sponsoring major sporting events, and widespread advertising on television and in magazines, teens are easily swayed by marketing that positions alcohol drinkers as cool, sophisticated and popular.
In 2002, a report from Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse claimed that underage drinking accounted for more than 11% of all the alcohol consumed in the U.S.