On February 17, 2011, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a survey that showed that 710,000 Teens between the age of 12 to 14 drank alcohol per month. The survey was conducted from 2006 to 2009, and over 44,000 teens were surveyed.
The research showed that of those teens who drank, 93.4% obtained their alcohol for free from underage persons, 19.6% from parents and/or guardians, 15.7% from home, 15.2% from adult relatives, 13.9% from unrelated adults, 13.5% from someone's home, and 6.8% from other resources. Of the ones surveyed, 6.6% bought the alcohol at bars and liquor stores.
According to Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. , SAMHSA Administrator, "People who begin drinking alcohol before the age of 15 are six times more likely than those who start at age 21 and older to develop alcohol problems. Parents and other adults need to be aware that providing alcohol to children can expose them to an increased risk for alcohol abuse and set them on a path with increased potential for addiction."
Underage drinking can lead to alcohol dependence and abuse and to serious heath problems. Alcohol not only affects the liver and pancreas, but it can also cause other chemical problems. It can lead to water loss, electrolyte depletion, deficiency of thiamine, etc.
About 5,000 people under the age of 21 die each year, as a result of alcohol use. 1,900 from motor vehicle crashes, 1,600 from homicides, 300 from suicide and hundreds more from various other injuries. Therefore, parents need to be more careful and aware of the alcohol intake of their children and teens.