Alcohol use is the leading drug problem among America’s youth.1 Every day, 7000 young people younger than 16 years take their first drink.2 According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (Bethesda, Md), incidence of onset of alcohol dependence peaks in the US population at age 18 years and trails off by age 25 years.3 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta, Ga) estimate that more than 4000 persons younger than 21 years die annually as a result of excessive drinking.4 And the drinking that young people do is excessive: more than 90% of the alcohol consumed by young people aged 12 to 20 years is drunk when the drinker is having 5 or more drinks on a single occasion, usually defined as within 2 hours.5
Jernigan DH. Importance of Reducing Youth Exposure to Alcohol Advertising. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(1):100–102. doi:10.1001/archpedi.160.1.100
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