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Teen Health

Teens and Alcohol

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Why Do People Drink Alcohol?

Drinking alcohol is a social activity -- most people drink with friends. Because alcohol makes people feel less inhibited, they feel more at ease socializing after a drink. People also drink just because other people are drinking. For many people, it feels good to be doing what everybody else is doing. But drinking just because everybody else is can lead to problems, especially if people are drinking too much.

On the other hand, many people enjoy the taste of alcoholic beverages. And when consumed by adults in small to moderate amounts, especially with meals, alcohol may be good for the heart.

What Is Binge Drinking?

Unfortunately, at some teen parties, the emphasis is on drinking to get drunk. This "binge" drinking happens when someone drinks more than four (for women) or five (for men) alcoholic drinks in about two hours. Binge drinking is the most harmful type of drinking.

How Many Teens Drink Alcohol?

More and more teens are choosing not to drink alcohol. Less than one in 10 teens under 14 years old has drunk alcohol in the past month. For teens 15 to 17 years old, less than three in 10 have drunk alcohol in the past month. If somebody says you need to drink because "everybody" is doing it, don't believe it. Even though teenage drinking may seem common or even normal, it isn't.

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