Teenage girl looks into the fridge at beer and wine.

Risks of Youth Drinking Too Early

While one or two drinks of alcohol may seem harmless, underage drinking can have serious consequences for youth. Besides the legal trouble you can get into for underage drinking, alcohol leads to unpleasant side effects like:

  • Loss of motor control or coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Blackouts or losing pockets of memory due to drinking
  • Puking

Alcohol seriously messes up your capability to make the right decisions for your well-being. For example, if you’ve been drinking you may:

  • Not be able to take control of a sexual encounter with another guy or a girl, or you may engage in risky unprotected sex. (If something does happen to you and you are drunk, it is not your fault! Visit www.dcshowoff.com to learn more about dealing with sexual violence in relationships.)
  • Not be able to say no to driving your friends around even though you’ve been drinking.
  • Decide to participate in an activity that could seriously injure you.
  • Become uncharacteristically aggressive or violent.

Alcohol can have a negative effect on your brain.

  • Developing an addiction is more common when someone tries alcohol at a younger age.
  • Drinking at a young age can negatively impact your ability to process or learn information.

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In 2015, 18.1% of DC high schoolers drank alcohol or used drugs before the most recent time they had sexual intercourse.