The Risks and Consequences of Underage Drinking

The Risks and Consequences of Underage Drinking

Alcohol can cause problems for people of all ages, but it has particularly severe consequences for minors. While the United States makes it illegal to purchase or consume alcohol under the age of 21, many teenagers still drink. Unfortunately, teens who drink are far more likely to practice and develop unsafe habits. Studies show that roughly one in five teenagers are or become problem drinkers who get into personal, professional, or legal trouble due to their drinking. Here are just some of the risks and consequences of underage drinking.

Brain Development

The brain is still developing during adolescence, so alcohol can cause some serious damage to minors. Alcohol can damage the structure of the developing brain, negatively affecting behaviors such as memory, attention span, and learning ability. Because of this, minors who use alcohol often struggle in school. Their grades slip and they might miss classes or get in trouble for poor behavior. Poor performance in high school makes it harder to land a job or pursue higher education. Alcohol causes teenagers to start their professional lives on the wrong foot—a consequence that can cause countless other problems throughout adulthood.

Health Issues

Alcohol is also detrimental to your physical and mental health. For anyone, heavy drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning, liver damage, and mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. It has particularly dangerous effects for teenagers since drinking during puberty can alter the body’s hormones and disrupt growth and development.

Legal Consequences

Drinking as a minor also comes with various legal consequences. As stated above, it’s illegal for minors to buy or drink alcohol. However, some of the biggest risks and consequences of underage drinking are the additional actions and behaviors alcohol can lead to. Teenagers who drink alcohol are also more likely to use other illicit substances. Alcohol also leads to impaired coordination and poor judgment, which is why driving while drunk is so dangerous. Unlike adults, teenagers can get a DUI for driving with a blood alcohol content of .02 percent or lower. Many states suspend or take away your license after a DUI charge, meaning you may have to obtain SR22 insurance, attend alcohol education programs, or go through other court requirements to get back on the road.

Alcohol abuse is dangerous, but life doesn’t have to end because you face the consequences of underage drinking. If you need SR22 insurance in California, Serenity Group can help you find a policy and move on to the next step of recovery and the rest of your life.