10 Statistics On Underage Drinking Among Teens

  • Underage drinking costs the United States more than $58 billion every year.
  • 40 percent of those who started drinking at age 13 or younger developed alcohol dependence later in life. Ten percent of teens who began drinking after the age of 17 developed dependence.
  • Ten percent of teens report that they have attended a rave, and ecstasy and other drugs were available at more than two-thirds of these raves.
  • Teens that drink are 50 times more likely to use cocaine than teens who never consume alcohol.
  • 63 percent of the youth who drink alcohol say that they initially got the alcohol from their own or their friend’s homes.
  • Alcohol kills 6 ½ times more teenagers than all other illicit drugs combined.
  • Teenagers whose parents talk to them on a regular basis about the dangers of drug use are 42 percent less likely to use drugs than those whose parents don’t.
  • More than 60 percent of teens said that drugs were sold, used, or kept at their school.
    20 percent of 8th graders report that they have tried marijuana.
  • 28 percent of teens know a classmate or friend who has used ecstasy (Teen Substance Abuse).

Statistics on Marijuana and Other Substance Use

  • In 2004, 51 percent of high school seniors reported having tried an illicit drug. (Source: Monitoring the Future Survey 2004)
  • The percentage of teens who have had a cigarette in the past 30 days has declined from 34 percent to 25 percent in the past five years. (Source: Monitoring the Future Survey 2004)
  • In 2004, 51 percent of high school seniors had tried an illicit drug, compared to 54 percent in five years earlier. (Source: Monitoring the Future Survey 2004)
  • Research shows that perception of risk is the most important influencing factor influencing the decision to use drugs. (Source: Monitoring the Future Survey 2004)
  • 77 percent of seniors have used alcohol, 53 percent have used cigarettes, 46 percent have used marijuana and 11 percent have used inhalants. (Source: Monitoring the Future Survey 2004)
  • Heroin, in any form, can cause death. (Source: NIDA)
  • Of the half of all teens who have been offered drugs, 57% say that the offer came from a friend around their age. (Source: PATS 2002)

Percentage of Teens Who Have Learned A Lot About the Risks of Drugs

School lessons or programs: 44%
Their friends: 32%
Parents or grandparents: 31%
TV commercials: 29%
The Internet: 22%

Source: PATS 2002