Underage Drinking
  Health Effects of Alcohol
  Fact Sheets & Stats
  Research Links

Subscribe to our
Quarterly Newsletter



Physiological Effects of Alcohol on Teenagers

effects of alcohol on teenage brains  

Scientific evidence suggests that even modest alcohol consumption in late childhood and adolescence can result in permanent brain damage.

Testimony of Dr. John Nelson, American Medical Association, 2002

Teenage Girls 12 to 16 years old who currently drink alcohol are four times more likely than their non-drinking peers to suffer from depression.

—Third National Health and Nutrition Survey, 2000

Research shows teen drinkers score worse than their non-drinking peers on vocabulary, visual-spatial, and memory tests, and are more likely to perform poorly in school as a whole.

—“Underage Drinkers at Higher Risk of Brain Damage,” American Medical Association, 2003

Teens who drink alcohol may remember 10 percent less of what they learned compared to non-drinking adolescents.

—Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2000

Among current drinkers aged 12 to 17, 31 percent suffered extreme levels of psychological distress, and 39 percent exhibited serious behavioral problems.

—Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1999

Among 12 to 16 year olds, regular alcohol use is associated with attention-deficit disorder. In one study, adolescents who reported higher levels of drinking were more likely to have attention-deficit disorder.

—Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1999