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Underage drinking by the numbers

Alcohol is by far, the drug of choice among adolescents. Unfortunately, the costs of drinking alcohol could affect your child's future, health, and development. According to a study out of the National Institute of Health, approximately 5,000 young people (those under 21) die from alcohol-related events. The majority, about 1,900 die in motor vehicle accidents. A further 1,600 are killed during homicides involving alcohol. Hundreds more die due to falls, suicide, burns, and drowning. This post will examine drinking among the underage population.

Despite these alarming numbers, young people continue to drink. The Monitoring the Future study, an annual survey of youths, uncovered some startling statistics. For example, three-fourths of 12th graders reported drinking alcohol, two-thirds of 10th graders and even 40 percent of 8th graders reporting drinking alcohol at some point.

The study also found that the younger adolescents start drinking, the more likely they are to develop alcohol dependence. Youths that start drinking before 15 are four times more likely to develop a dependence.

"Binge" drinking is the rapid consumption of a great amount of alcohol. 29 percent of 12th graders, 22 percent of 10th graders and 11 percent of 8th graders reported binge drinking within the past two weeks. The study noted that youths that binge drink are more likely to engage in risky behavior such as using drugs, having sex and poor grades.

If your child was arrested for drinking while being underage then you may want to speak to an attorney. Depending on the nature of the arrest and the charges, they should be manageable. Your attorney can meet with the prosecutor and negotiate a deal that may even avoid a permanent mark on your child's record. But, again, this all depends on the circumstances of his or hers' arrest. But it is better to have an attorney in your child's corner who can watch their back, than not. The consequences from a felony charge could affect your child's future for years.

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