Although national studies show that underage alcohol use has steadily declined since 2002, there were still 7.4 million drinkers between the ages of 12 and 20 in 2017.1 With this in mind, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is leveraging Alcohol Awareness Month in April and National Prevention Week May 12-18 to bring conversations about underage drinking into communities.
With alcohol being the top-treated substance of abuse at addiction rehab centers across the country2 and nearly 66% of people reporting that alcohol was the first substance they ever used3 it’s clear that communication with youths about underage drinking is an important first step to addressing the problem.
American Addiction Centers is participating in this important mission by hosting discussions in our own communities. On April 23, Oxford Treatment Center will host the panel discussion The Culture of Alcohol: Current Perspectives on Underage Drinking, plus a Q&A session with local government representatives and medical professionals, at Oxford High School Library.
On April 29, Laguna Treatment Hospital hosts From Underage Drinking to Addiction: Stories and Stats We Can’t Ignore. This special community event will be joined by childhood Baywatch star Jeremy Jackson, who shares his personal story of addiction, which started with having his first beer at the age of 12.
These events are open to all members of the community: teens, parents, professors, advisors—anyone who wants to take a more active role in reducing the impact of underage drinking.
It is often said that “addiction is a family disease,” and underage drinking is no exception. Parents of teens and young adults may already be aware of their child’s alcohol use, but not know how to address the subject without pushing their loved one away. We encourage family members of underage drinkers to read Parts I and II of our Guide for Families to learn about substance use disorder in this age group and the options that are available.
AAC is passionate about helping people of all walks of life find recovery from substance use disorders by providing research, support, and community resources alongside our evidence-based treatment methods.
 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2018)./Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health/(HHS Publication No. SMA 18-5068, NSDUH Series H-53). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality.
 Recovery Brands. (2017).
 American Addiction Centers. (2018).